To most people, stepping up in front of a large crowd to speak would the world’s worst nightmare. But to me, it is one of my favorite things to do. Although I still get nervous before speaking in front of a large crowd, my excitement for the opportunity usually overrides the nervousness. I believe the more passionate you are about what you are going to speak on, the more comfortable you will become. However, you will not always have the opportunity to speak on the things that you are most passionate about, so it is important to be confident in your public speaking ability, because your confidence will be evident. With that said, I have come up with my best tips for public speaking and presentations.
Tip #1- Prepare in advance. This will benefit you on all levels. Preparing in advance for your presentation will help you feel at ease going into the presentation. It will also help you to stay on track throughout the presentation because you will be organized and ready to go.
Tip #2- Make an outline, not a speech. Your presentation will sound a lot more natural if you simply make an outline for your speech, not a paper that says it word for word. This will make you sound more confident and more comfortable and will stop you when you have the urge to focus more on the sheet in front of you than on the people you are speaking to.
Tip #3- Practice. Say your presentation at least one time before the event. It is easy to prepare for something thinking you have enough information and are educated enough about the topic, but then come to find out you only know a wee little bit. Practicing will help you know how much you know about your subject and will then allow you to prepare more, if necessary.
Tip #4- Dress the part. Let’s just face it, first impressions are important. Show that you mean business by dressing like you mean business. This doesn’t mean you have to wear a business suit, but dress professionally. This will make you stand out amongst the crowd as someone they want to listen to.
Tip #5- PowerPoint Do’s and Don’ts. It is great to use PowerPoint to create a visual that your audience can relate to, or take notes from, but be careful! Make sure the PowerPoint doesn’t do your presentation for you. For the presentation simply put key words up that you can expound upon. If you put everything that you are going to say up on the PowerPoint, then you might as well let someone else stand up there and do your presentation for you.
Tip #6- PowerPoint Font. Make sure that the color scheme and font that you use on your PowerPoint is easily legible and able to be read from in the very back of the room. There is nothing worse than trying to read something from a presentation and everything looks blurry.
Tip #7- Be relative. You will know the type of audience that you are going to present to. Prepare for them in every aspect of your presentation. This includes examples, tone of voice, font on the PowerPoint, as well as icebreakers and fun creative things that you plan to include in your presentation.
Tip #8- Be passionate. Even if you are not presenting on the things you are most passionate about, try to find at least one thing that sticks out to you that really makes you live for more. Your excitement will be evident to your audience.
Tip #9- Heard Loud and Clear. Speak up. Take authority in the room. Make sure your words are sharp and clear so that everyone can easily understand you.
Tip #10- Have fun. Enjoy your presentation. It is your time to shine, your moment that other people are stopping everything in their life to hear what you have to say. Awaken the passion in side of you and share with others all that you have learned.