By Nicci Roscoe – The Fabulous Impact Speaker and Trainer
Powerful presentations that captivate your audience are like a work of art – every brush stroke counts. Preparation is one of the essential ingredients when giving any presentation. Whether you are talking to a boardroom, addressing your colleagues or clients, speaking at a conference or to the media, be prepared. Planning and practicing will give you the power to look, sound and feel confident whilst having high impact results. Remember your audience won’t know if you have forgotten a line or two if you don’t draw attention to it. You need to be in control. Believe in yourself, be comfortable with your delivery and never leave your preparations until the last minute!
It is natural to have a rush of adrenalin before presenting. This can give us a boost of energy to perform at our best. If this is your area of expertise, take comfort from the fact that you know what you are talking about. Enjoy it. Make it exciting. Nerves can take you by surprise. I can show you how to take control and give you confidence to present with impact. Get in touch if you’d like to book a session or two to get it just right and feel really good about presenting.
The following ten tips will help you give an even more successful delivery.
1. Plan the picture you want to paint and words you want to say. Imagine you have a blank canvas in front of you. The more colourful and animated your communication with your audience the more you will hold their attention and stick in their memory.
2. Do a little research so you know what your audience really need to hear from you. If necessary, call one or more people who will be in the audience or who are arranging the event to clarify what’s needed.
3. Structure your presentation thoughtfully.
- The beginning tells them what the message is you want to get across. It shows what you can do to make that difference and the results you want to achieve.
- The middle is giving them the tools to use to get the results and how you will help them.
- The end is a round up of what you have talked about and how they can move forward.
4. Relate captivating stories to illustrate points. Stories are key. Including a humorous aspect to some of your stories can be popular.
5. Practice your delivery until you feel comfortable with it. Video yourself and be your own critic.
6. Avoid numerous powerpoint slides with loads of copy on. The audience has come to hear from you! Use impactful visuals with the smallest number of words necessary. Consider giving your audience a handout instead of showing lots of slides.
7. Voice Tone and projection. Avoid shouting or straining your voice. Focus on your breathing from your diaphragm and avoid talking from your throat. Warm up your vocal cords with simple exercises like humming and a big yawn. If you have the opportunity to use a radio microphone use it!
8. Your Body Language Will Tell A Story!
- Stand tall with your shoulders back, down and relaxed. A tense neck will give you a tense jaw. Relax!
- Avoid closed gestures like folding your arms or holding your hands together in front of you.
- Use your hands to express yourself with open arms where necessary.
- Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Avoid bending you knees or having one foot hooked behind the other. Keep your feet firmly on the ground and you will feel more centred when speaking.
- Avoid moving around too much unless using movement to make a point. Use of your stage needs practice.
- Make eye contact with different people in the room.
9. Make eye contact with different people in the room.
10. Breathe! Taking slow deep breaths a few minutes before you begin. This will help you centre yourself and gather your thoughts.