When you’re giving a business presentation or a speech you want to appear natural so as to make the audience feel relaxed watching.
Check out the below Youtube video for speaking tips that will help you put together and deliver clear and compelling talks and speeches.
Remember don’t simply rely on your PowerPoint slides to do your presentations.Get a blank sheet of paper and plan what you’re going to say. And in the very last thing you do is what visual aids to use to help you get your point across. Good opening and closing are very important.
Too often, a speaker loses his audience before he even gets to the core of his speech.
Check out the below video on how to create terrific openings and closings to presentations.
“There’s no single formula for a great talk, but there is a secret ingredient that all the best ones have in common. TED Curator Chris Anderson shares this secret — along with four ways to make it work for you. Do you have what it takes to share an idea worth spreading?”
The students of Access Foundation at Kingston College pass on their wisdom about giving presentations in class.
A Good Presentation that will Amaze your Audience
How to givea good presentation? Giving a presentation is like being in total control of a situation. You have to know what you are talking about and how you talk about it – it is the responsibility of the presenter. Imagine giving people the wrong information or giving the right information but it was understood differently.
However, giving a good presentation is entirely different from having a broad knowledge about a topic. How so? Simply because it boils down to how you effectively presented your topic in such a way that you were able to convey your knowledge to other people successfully. To put it simply, it is the way your audience understood you and was awed by how you made them understand.
There are a lot of tips and tricks in successfully achieving a good presentation. There is really no precise format in doing so. It really depends solely on the person giving the presentation, on what works for him or her. Here are some of them:
Four Objectives of a Presentation
You should, at least, be able to apply any of these objectives in your presentation:
1. Information: Your goal is to inform, to share your knowledge on agiven topic. Only discuss related and necessary information. Remember, too much of anything is considered boring.
2. Entertainment:As much as possible avoid jokes and just try to tell personal stories (short ones) that are related to your topic (if possible). It is a sure way to your audience heart because you are giving them a glimpse of you as a person and not just the presenter. But do not dwell on it for too long, just enough to get your audience’s attention and then get straight to the point.
3. Emotional Touch: Tapping the emotional side of your audience is only applicable if the topic calls for it. But do not depress your audience, because sad people will not understand or remember anything. Avoid criticism if you cannot offer a solution.
4. Action speaks louder than words:A good presentation does not stop at just presenting your topic. Early on you should know what you want your audience to do after they heard your presentation. Be direct and specific, you should be able to get a commitment from them.
Preparing for a Presentation
In preparing for a presentation, you should think like a journalist. You should be able to answer the “what, who, why, how, when and where” (The Five Ws and One H) questions:
1. “What” is the purpose of the presentation? – Is it for training, seminar, for report, for planning, and etcetera? You have to know this so you can gather the needed information.
2. “Who” is your target audience? – This is also important because it will give you an idea on what content to use for your presentation that is appropriate to your audience.
3. “Why” are they attending the presentation? – This is relatively important too because you will know that if attendance is compulsory, you have to be able to make them realize that your presentation is not a waste of their precious time.
4. “How” many are attending the presentation? – Some presenters ignore this, which is wrong. It is important that you know the estimated attendees. Especially if you are using visuals, it is important that every attendee can see it.
5. “When” is the schedule of the presentation? – The date is crucial to your preparation because it will give you an estimate of how much time you have to finish your presentation.
6. “Where” is the venue of the presentation? – This is sometimes ignored too, and again it is wrong, simply because to know where the venue is will be important in determining what equipment that you will need to bring or to request. For instance, you might need a projector, microphones, a podium, and etcetera.
Public Speaking Mistake #1 – Being Unprepared Preparation is key for an effective presentation.
Public Speaking Mistake #2 – Not Knowing Your Audience Tailor your presentation for relevance to your audience.
Public Speaking Mistake #3 – Not Having Clear Points Give your audience a simple take away from your message by breaking it up into smaller points.
Public Speaking Mistake #4 – Over Dependence On Visuals Don’t let your audience be victims of death by powerpoint!
Public Speaking Mistake #5 – Not Getting Honest Feedback The simplest method to improve your presentation skills is to ask for feedback.
Bonus Tip #1: Not Having Your Timing Right Comedians will tell you that the perfect joke relies more on timing than content.
Bonus Tip #2: Not Having A ‘Plan B’ What if… … your opening line falls flat, the microphone fails, or you are constantly interrupted? Create a contingency plan for a few worst case scenarios.
Don’t let your message be muted.
Youtube Video: Common Speaking Mistakes to Avoid
Here are some additional common speaking mistakes that you should avoid when doing your presentations:
1. Hiding from the audience. 2. Reading from your notes. 3. Offending your audience. 4. Not knowing your audience. 5. Obscuring your message.
For details, check out the below video about Speaking Mistakes to Avoid.
1. Not tailoring your message to your audience “Talk to a man about himself and he will listen for hours.” “On the other hand, if you don’t talk to your audience about themselves, they most likely won’t listen.”
2. Eye dart “From beginners to veterans, the majority of speakers fail to maintain meaningful, sustained eye contact with their listeners. To visually connect, maintain eye contact for at least two to three seconds per person, or long enough to complete a full phrase or sentence.”
3. Distracting mannerisms “There are at least 20 common tics to tackle, including: clenching or wringing your hands, pacing back and forth, keeping your hands in pockets, jingling change or keys, twisting your ring, gripping the lectern, licking your lips, adjusting your hair or clothing, fidgeting with a pen, bobbing your head, placing your arms behind your back, and touching your face. As a remedy, record yourself speaking and watch the playback.”
4. Low energy “A boring delivery — evidenced by a low monotone voice, dull facial expressions, and overall lethargy — is their most disliked trait.” “To avoid losing your audience in a New York minute, crank up the energy level,” says Price. “Speak expressively, smile sincerely, move naturally, and enjoy the moment.”
5. Not rehearsing Most proficient presenters prepare. “That is, they know the topic, organize their content, design a slide deck, and study their notes,” Price says. “This bad habit results in the audience seeing and hearing the unrefined run-through, versus the finessed final performance.”
6. Data dumping “Ditch the habit of data dumping. It loses the audience and undermines your innate ability to inspire, connect, and persuade.”
7. Not inspiring “An engaging, memorable, and persuasive presentation is balanced with both information and inspiration.” “It speaks to the head and the heart, leveraging both facts and feelings.”
8. Lack of pauses “Many speakers have the bad habit of rushing through their content.” “The three times you definitely want to pause include: before and after you say something very important which you want your audience to remember; before and after you transition from one key talking point to the next; and between your opening, main body, and closing.”
9. Not crafting a powerful opening “The beginning is the most important part of the work. So, open with a bang. Invest the thought, time and effort to craft and memorize the most important part of the work.”
10. Using too much (or not enough) humor “You don’t want your presentation to be dry and boring, but you also don’t want to come off like you’re trying too hard to be a stand-up comedian. A good rule of thumb is to be yourself, and infuse a bit of humor when appropriate.”
11. Reading from your slides “The people watching your presentation can read, so giving them the exact same information verbally and visually can be boring and insulting. Use slides as visual signposts for the points you’re making rather than a written version or summary of those points.”
12. Making an excuse or an apology “Making an excuse or an apology sets a negative tone and gives people a reason to think your presentation was underwhelming.”
13. Ending with Q&A “It’s fine to invite the audience’s comments and questions; however, be sure to end strong.” “Craft an effective three-part closing where you deliver a strong summary; present a call-to-action; and conclude with a powerful closing statement.”
Need more public speaking mistakes to avoid?
Here are the Top 10 Presentation Mistakes mentioned in the below videos:
1. Little, if any, advanced planning and practice.
2. “Me” focused.
3. Lack of clarity and structure.
4. Too much information.
5. Lack of creativity or a Big idea.
6. Little client interaction.
7. Visuals: Too much, too many or none at all.
8. Reading slides or speech.
9. “Ums,” “so” and “you know”.
10. Weak opening/ closing or call to action.
Have you made any of the above mistakes in your presentations?
For details, check out the below videos for tips on top 10 public speaking presentation mistakes created by Marc Corsini…
1. Feeling nervous about speaking in front of groups “Arrive 15 to 20 minutes early to make sure the technology is working. Practice your opening so you will feel more comfortable. Turn your audience from strangers to friends by saying hi. Focus on serving the audience.”
2. Not telling great stories
3. Having a voice that shakes “Warm up your voice before speaking. Breathe in through your nose, fill up your tummy.”
4. Avoiding humor
5. Picturing the audience “in their underwear” Stop doing that. Picture talking to your friends in the living room instead.
6. Worrying about what to say during the Q&A “Write down the possible questions people may ask you during the presentation. Practice answering these questions.”
7. Making a PowerPoint bullet-point data dump “People want to listen to you, not your slides. Storyboard your ideas with sticky notes. Find powerful images. Create engaging slides.”
8. Opening with “Good morning, everyone. Today I will talk about … “ “B-O-R-I-N-G. You only have seven seconds to grab your audience’s attention. A great way is to ask a rhetorical question.”
9. Believing “practice makes perfect” “Practice doesn’t make perfect; practice with feedback makes great improvement.”
10. Having a weak closing “To inspire action, summarize your key points. Repeat your message. Give a specific action step.”
Avoid making the above mentioned presentation mistakes and get over your fear of public speaking.
If you want to overcome stage fright and learn to speak with confidence, join a toastmasters club.
You are welcome to visit our Kampong Ubi Toastmasters Club if you are living in Singapore.
Youtube Video: Public Speaking Tips on How to Start Your Presentation
“If you’re like most people, getting started is probably the hardest part. It’s kind of like writers block. You can sit for hours—nothing comes to you, but when it does, it just pours out. So, how do we get started?”
The following video provides some helpful tips on how to start your presentation by Karen Friedman.
Think about the following questions… 1. What is the purpose of your talk? 2. What do your listeners care about? 3. What do you want people to remember?
If you want to overcome stage fright and learn to speak with confidence, join a toastmasters club.
This video produced by Mohawk College describes some quick pointers on how to give good presentations.
Here is the transcript of the video.
I’m Dennis Angle I’m a professor of Mohawk College and this presentation is about presentations. Presentations, we have students to do it all the time. Presentations are in business, in school and in everyday life.
Two reasons we want to do a presentation. We want to inform somebody, and we want to convince somebody to do something. Practice, practice your presentation. Practice, practice, practice and practice again. It shows when you practice your presentation and it really shows when you don’t.
Practice in front of a mirror. Practice in front of your friends. Practice in front of your relatives. Practice in front of a big empty room or practice in front of a camera. You will become smooth.
PowerPoint Use PowerPoints as a guide and a menu. Just put your main points on the PowerPoint. Put them there so people can remember. Put them there so you can remember what your main points are. Don’t put stuff that anyone can read and don’t read your PowerPoint slide. Everybody can read it they don’t need you to talk about it. Just put the main points on your PowerPoint.
Technology Technology is okay. But your presentation should be about the presentation and is not about the technology. Make sure you practice. Make sure you know what you’re doing. Make sure the technology you’re using is the same that you’re actually going to encounter in your presentation. Try and practice on the actual equipment.
Nervousness Everybody gets nervous. Some people say try to picture everybody in their underwear. I tried that once. Tattoos, scars, birthmarks… It wasn’t pretty. I was still nervous.
My advice Practice, practice and more practice and that will take away the nervousness. Know what you’re going to say. Know what you’re going to present. That should be all there is to it.
When you’re presenting, keep your sentences short and keep your sentences concise. People will remember your message. Don’t ramble. Don’t have really long sentences. Don’t put in a lot of ohms and ahhs. Take your time. Short sentences it’ll work. Your presentation needs an ending. Make sure you have an ending. The audience needs to know when to stand up and cheer and clap and applaud. If you’re going to have questions, save them till after your ending but make sure your presentation has an ending.
The following is an related article. Enjoy!
Powerpoint Presentations Are Great, But Are You Engaging Your Audience?
Getting an audience interested in your presentation is a challenge. No matter the technology used, whether it’s a PowerPoint, whiteboard, graphs, or other visual aids, it’s your delivery, preparation, or lack of it that will impinge on your performance.
The Buzz Is In The Telling
If you’ve been to a lot of seminars or webinars, you can count in your one hand the few which stood out. Ask yourself what you liked about those gigs. Probably these are the highlights:
1. Good presentation material. 2. Good reporting. 3. Great speakers. 4. Lively participants.
On hindsight, you’ll realize that what made the activity outstanding was your active participation in almost all activities. You asked a lot of questions and were satisfied with the answers, and you probably liked what you saw in almost all the PowerPoint presentations.
But it’s not actually the PowerPoint presentations that were interesting, it was what you understood. You learned something from the discussion, while PowerPoint only served as a visual aid. You were an active participant like the others. Nobody was ready to rush to the door. People wanted to know more and discuss more.
You got the point that the successful presentation was in the manner of showing the ideas and talking about them. The approach was able to draw out or engage the participants. Some of them remember the discussion and not the PowerPoint presentations at all.
Repetition and Anecdotes Count
You’ve observed that the speaker made the participants at ease. He didn’t have to crack lousy jokes. Simply asking how the people were feeling or if they were ready for the next round of discussion stirred people to action.
The speaker (already introduced) starts by telling the audience what he is going to discuss. During his discussion, he guides the audience by telling them that he is now ready to launch on the second or third or last part of his presentation. All the while, he invites people to ask questions.
He repeats what he has said as if driving the idea and embedding it into their minds. He does not only tell, but shows how things are done. To find out if people are on his wavelength, he asks questions, not only to test their comprehension, but to gauge the level of the audience interest as well. He is following the outlined course of his discussion, but makes sure that before launching the next step, his audience learned something.
He injected stories and parables to his repertoire, or provided analogies. These are subtle techniques used to repeat his theme and objective. At this extent, he has already grasped the group dynamics and responded accordingly.
Make Your Report Dynamic
It does not mean you don’t have to spruce up your PowerPoint presentations. Don’t make the mistake of cramming all the content in your slides. Your slide should serve as a clue to what you are going to elaborate. Remember the guy who read his slides without making eye contact with the audience? He was a bore.
Make an outline of your PowerPoint presentations while never losing sight of your objective. Guided by your plan and your thorough preparation (even a dry run to get an estimate of how long you’re going to present your ideas), you can be confident to engage your audience.
Practice Makes Natural.
Join Toastmasters and find a club that you like to practise your speeches in a friendly environments. You are welcome to visit our Kampong Ubi Toastmasters Club if you are living in Singapore.
“World Champion Speaker Reveals his #1 Key to Overcoming Fear Eliminating the Negative Self-Talk, and & Delivering a Clear Message…Even If This is Your Very First Speech.”