Whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee, at a point in your career, public speaking becomes a necessity. You might have to speak in public to pitch your idea to investors, you might have to give presentations to prospective customers, or you might have to give presentations to your bosses at the office. Whatever the case may be, you will need fo understand the rudiments of public speaking and master the skills needed to render powerful presentations. Below are 10 tips to help you give better presentations.
1. Know Your Audience:
This is important for anything in business. Quality is achieved when the right audience accepts what you are offering. In public speaking, you are offering an idea and understanding who you are presenting to will determine how you will present it. It is important that you investigate your audience and know what interest them so you can tailor your content around your audience. It will be out of place to give examples that will interest older men to an audience filled with youths.
2. Know Your Topic:
Knowledge is power. When you have in-depth knowledge about what you are rendering, you will have a sense of authority and as a result you will have confidence.
Confidence is what you need to show your authority on a particular topic, and when you show authority people tend to listen. Understand the purpose of your speech. It could be to entertain, educate or persuade. Knowing this will help you build your content and make it more effective.
3. Practice! Practice!! Practice!!!
No matter how knowledgeable you are on a topic, not practicing can put you in a bad place during the presentation. Practicing will let you identify points that you will need to include and how you speech should flow.
4. Prepare For Questions:
When you practice, think of possible questions that could be asked on every talking point in your presentation as well as the topic itself. If you prepare for possible questions, no question will catch you off-guard. Don’t hope someone doesn’t ask a particular question, because if you can identify it then there is a high possibility that someone will ask. Prepare to give the best answers.
5. Practice Timing:
While practicing, time yourself and ensure that you stick to time. If you are to give a 10 minutes speech, practice to give an 8 minutes speech because anything can happen. Make sure you set time limits on each talking points. At first your speech might either be too long or too short, but with time and practice, you will get in line.
6. Prepare Slides or Talking Notes:
It is advisable to have talking notes or slides during presentations, it helps to guide you and your audience through the speech. Ensure that you don’t fill your slides with text as it will be confusing for both you and your reader. Don’t read from the slides. Practice enough so you don’t have to read from the slides. You don’t show authority when you read from the slides, and that can put off your audience.
7. When Talking, Don’t Rush:
Most people want to get done with the presentation as fast as possible so they tend to rush through presentations. If your audience don’t follow you or understand your message, then the presentation was a fail. Don’t rush when giving presentations. It is advisable to pause for a few seconds intermittently during your presentations. It draws wandering minds back to paying attention.
8. Share A Story:
While it is not compulsory, a story is a good opener and closer of a speech. Everyone loves a story. If you choose to input a story in your speech, it is important that you make it short so that you don’t distract the audience from your topic. Be careful with jokes though. A joke is binary and can go either of two ways. Unless you are extremely confident, funny or you tell a joke with a straight face, jokes can be dangerous and could leave you smiling alone.
9. Stick To Time:
This is where you show what you have practiced. Ensure to keep your speech short. It will help the audience to stay attentive and get the full message. A short speech will always be better than a long speech. Even if the audience enjoys the speech, it will keep them wanting more and you will become the go-to person for presentations or speeches.
10. Closing Techniques:
Formulate a closing technique for your presentation. It is important to leave your audience with something to take away from the speech. Some techniques you could use are; telling a short story that drives home your message, summarizing your keypoints quickly, creating a call to action for your audience to make them act on your message.
If you close well you will get a good applause, regardless of how attentive the audience was throughout the presentation. With better speeches, you will sell more ideas, more products and most of all you will be able to sell yourself.