Are you a bundle of nerves at the mere thought of speaking in public? Do you experience wobbly knees, sweaty palms or an upset stomach? Well, you are not alone! The fear of public speaking ranks with death and an IRS audit for most of us.
Whether participating in a live event, teleclass or webinar, with practice and planning, you can overcome your fears and develop strong presentation skills. To help, here are 5 Strategies for a successful presentation… every time!
Prepare in Advance
Preparing for a presentation requires research, organization and planning. Each is vital to the success of a presentation. How do you prepare? Well…,
· Learn about the audience and venue. This will enable you to make adjustments to meet their needs and prepare enough material such as; handouts, business cards brochures and giveaways. Knowing the facility’s size and layout is equally important.
· Practice your presentation and fine tune as needed. Rrehearse using a video recorder or ask a friend or family member to critique you.
· Keep the content simple and comprehensible… and avoid using jargon!
· Be a good keeper of time. Make sure you are not under or over the time allotted.
- Make sure you have some water at your table or podium. Nothing worse than having ‘dry mouth’ during a presentation!
- If you’re using equipment such as a laptop, a projector, microphone or smart board, ALWAYS check to make sure everything is working properly.
Your body language is critical in the message it conveys to an audience. Confidence will reflect in your posture. Make it a point to stand tall; with shoulders aligned properly. In addition, remember to use proper hand gestures.
This is an easy way to build rapport with your audience. As you move through your presentation, you’ll make a greater impact when delivering key points by glancing at someone each time. As you move onto another point, shift your glance to the next person. This approach captures each person and engages them in your conversation.
Know Your Audience
Do you know your audience’s demographics? If not, you should! For example, my presentations are targeted towards women entrepreneurs. Since the length of time in business varies, I will customize each to fit their needs. 3 tips to better engage your audience:
- Have a powerful opening and closing. Start your presentation with an ice breaker, an engaging story or thought provoking question. Close with a call to action – what should they do as a result of your presentation? This is also a great way to gain prospective clients.
2. Create an interactive atmosphere. Ask open-ended questions to encourage participation and share experiences.
3. End on a note that will send people away with something to remember.
Ask for Feedback
Provide your audience with an evaluation form to fill out. Allow anonymity to encourage open and honest answers. Use their responses to improve the quality of your presentation.
In conclusion, if you want a successful outcome, it is important to take the proper time and steps to prepare for your presentation!
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEB SITE? You can, as long as you include this complete blurb with it: Sylvia Browder is CEO of Browder Consulting Group, a virtual small business consulting firm. In her role, she helps Women in Business grow and succeed. She is also founder of National Association Women on the Rise, a virtual community for aspiring and established women entrepreneurs. The association’s mission is to provide professional and personal resources while uplifting and empowering women entrepreneurs through collaboration, education, mentoring, spiritual and peer support, leadership and networking. She has served as an online volunteer SCORE counselor since 2004. For FREE weekly articles go to Sylvia Browder’s Blog for Women Entrepreneurs, www.sylviabrowder.com. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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