Speaking in public is one of the greatest phobias we face, but it is also probably one of the easiest to overcome. Whether you are a novice speaker or a seasoned professional, here are some tips on how to improve your presentation.
1. Know your stuff (and your equipment)
A fumbling presenter does not instill confidence in the audience. Nothing beats being prepared, whether it is a 15-minute pep talk, a 3-hour seminar or a 5-day training program. It may seem obvious but you must be familiar with your subject matter and your presentation slides in order to deliver a superb presentation.
When invited to speak or present, you may be using the organiser’s laptop and/ or projector. Arrive early and make sure you are familiar with how to use the equipment and test your slides to ensure they work properly. If you are using a wireless lapel microphone, test the sound quality and the best placement position.
2. Tell them, tell them, tell them
In your opening, tell your audience what you will be talking about in your session. Then proceed with your talk and cover all the points that you need to cover. During the closing, recap by going through the highlights of what you have already talked about.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice
Nothing can replace being well rehearsed. No matter how many times you have gone through your materials, practice makes permanent.
4. Meet and Greet
Always plan to arrive early for your talk or presentation. Apart from giving yourself more time to make sure that the set-up is correct and everything is working properly, it also allows you the opportunity to meet and mingle with your audience. Get to know them a little so you can determine their expectations, their background and how receptive they are.
5. Stand and Deliver
Use the stage or space wisely and purposefully. If you are making a speech, you will most likely be standing behind a lectern. Make sure you are visible to your audience. If possible, step away from the lectern. Where you are addressing a certain part of the audience, for example when taking questions, ensure that your position is such that your arc of engagement does not exclude part of the audience.
To find out more on how you can be excellent in speaking, presenting and training, and learn how you can fulfill your passion and join the training industry, join the Training and Presenting like a Pro workshop on 3rd March 2012 at the Empire Hotel Subang, Malaysia. If you know you want to be a professional trainer or speaker, then enroll in my MasterClass Train The Trainer program and join me in this great profession.