Here are my top tips for nailing a presentation.
- Preparation is key. You need to spend some time really thinking and working out what it is you are going to speak about. As soon as you know you have to give a presentation start making some notes, jotting down ideas, thoughts, they don’t have to be in order initially. You will find that you will be more attuned to pick up on relevant information, it may be something you hear on the radio, see online or some one is talking about, this is where you usually find the gems of your presentation.
- Practice out loud. Rewrite your speech if you need too, so that it sounds just like you and the way you talk.
- Trust Yourself. Once you have prepared and practiced and have your notes as back up then trust your instinct in the moment to take the presentation to where it needs to go.
- Express yourself. Use your hands to help express what you are saying – and be aware of your body language when you are feeling most confident and replicate that.
- Make eye contact and smile! Don’t just smile with your mouth smile with your eyes too! If you are speaking about something good, look happy about it!
- Work in some humour early on. If you can make your audience laugh, they will keep listening in the hope you will do it again. It doesn’t have to be hilarious, mildly amusing will do. It shouldn’t seem to be added in but arise naturally from what you are saying – keep a lookout for it in your information in stories, look for things that are weird, or incongruous, or ironic or silly.
- Connect with your audience. Allow yourself some time to do a bit of bonding with the people in your audience beforehand that way you will have some supporters already on side and willing to engage straight up.
- Be yourself and be natural. But be a slightly heightened, slightly more confident, extroverted and enthusiastic version of yourself.
And finally – enjoy the experience!
Lisa McAskill – Creative Director at www.lisamcaskill.com.au