“No matter how big or small your audience is, the foundation for delivering a captivating presentation depends on your ability to build context. This is not about articulation, the use of language, vocal variety, filler words, verbal crutches, hand gestures, etc. This is more valuable than just technical speaking skills. It’s about how to connect with, and engage your audience.”
Public Speaking – 5 Powerful Tips for Persuasive and Captivating Presentations
By Steve H Chang
Let’s face it. Most of us are not comfortable speaking in front of groups, especially when giving formal speeches or presentations. Standing on stage under bright lights, with all those blank faces staring at you, can be incredibly nerve racking. In fact, some people tremble at the mere thought of public speaking.
Did you know the fear of public humiliation is greater than the fear of death? It’s universally true across all cultures. It’s why most people are deathly afraid of public speaking.
Now here’s the paradox. To reach that “next level” of success, socially and professionally, the ability to speak in front of a group is a fundamental necessity. Overcoming this fear will release your untapped potential. It will unlock opportunities that you may currently find unattainable.
One of the most important life skills is communication. Being able to effectively communicate to groups of people gives you an incredible advantage.
Sooner or later you will be presenting. Maybe you need to pitch a proposal at a company meeting… give a sales presentation to prospective clients… or something as simple as voicing your opinion in front of some friends or colleagues. No matter how big or small your audience, the following 5 Tips will help you deliver persuasive, powerful presentations – guaranteed!
…But first thing’s first! I am not a professional speaker. I was no less afraid of public speaking than the next person. When I was young I avoided large groups. They intimidated me. So it wasn’t in my scope of reality to speak to a group of people!
Then as I got older I realized that shyness and greatness don’t mix.
Through training, I overcame that barrier. Not only did I learn to speak in front of a group, I learned how to present. My fear of speaking was replaced with the confidence to deliver impactful presentations to over a hundred people at a time. Now I’m even more comfortable on TV and on camera. So I can say first-hand that applying these skills has absolutely improved my life!
There are a lot of good resources for public speaking. You can find speaking groups, (like Toastmasters), in every major city. It’s a terrific way to develop some speaking skills. But, what I’m about to share with you is far more valuable than speaking skills alone. I’m not going to talk about articulation, creative use of language, vocal variety, filler words, verbal crutches, hand gestures, and other techniques.
Although public speaking techniques are invaluable for giving speeches, presentations are more interactive and often require facilitating audience engagement. When you’re able to deliver captivating presentations, every aspect of your public speaking skills will improve automatically.
The magic of a powerful presentation is in the ability to make an emotional connection and build trust.
This is achieved by creating the proper setting, or [context], which engages your audience as part of your presentation. Logic, facts and figures may build interest and even impress your audience. However, it won’t spark the emotional motivation that decisions are made from. And, it certainly isn’t enough to earn their trust. Win over your audience by speaking to their hearts, not their minds. Remember, presenting is “facilitating a conversation”. It’s not lecturing.
Creating context is how the best speakers in the world influence and inspire. The process can be so subtle that unless you know what to look for, you just think they’re amazing speakers – which of course they are! The point is, it can be duplicated. The process will even give you instant confidence. How’s that for a great by-product?
…Communication is an emotional contact sport. Presenting to groups is no different. The common mistake is to think that presenting is a one-way street.
5 Tips to Connect With Your Audience:
Yes, it’s your audience. And, no matter what you previously thought, “presenting” is two-way communication…even if you’re doing all the talking! Continue reading