Making a presentation, in school, in business, can be scary or overwhelming, especially if English is not your native language.
It puts you on public display. The audience sits there and listens to only you and your ideas. They will react or respond to not only the words that come out of your mouth, but how well you pronounce them as well as your body language.
In order to deliver an effective and impactful presentation there are a few key points to get right.
First, begin with asking yourself these questions:
Does this presentation grab the audience’s attention?
Does it stimulate their imagination?
Does this presentation give me confidence?
Does this presentation develop understanding of what I am presenting to my audience?
Once you can confidently answer those questions, there are a few ways in which you can build your confidence in the actual presentation.
- Just like learning English to begin with, it is going to take work! You can just show up the day of your presentation and hope things go well. News flash, they probably won’t. So read your presentation. Say it out loud. Practice in front of a mirror or friends and family. Ask for feedback.
- Have stage presence.
- Stand with your shoulders back and your back straight. Good posture and the appearance of confidence is important to maintain at all times. Posture helps create the mood and atmosphere you are building. Avoid apologizing or saying you’re sorry if you tumble. You MUST be confident that your audience wants to listen to what you have to say because you are an authority on the subject you are delivering.
- Make and Keep contact with your audience
- One major challenge faced by unsure presenters is reaching your audience and keeping them engaged. One sure fire way is to make contact with them. Eye contact, gestures with your hands and body, acknowledging your audience with verbal contact, such as asking rhetorical questions.
- Use your voice to connect with your audience
- Your voice pitch, tone, volume all dictate how invested your audience is in your speech. Changing these things and varying them will make your presentation more interesting and ultimately the audience more engaged. You want to ensure you are loud enough for people to hear, slow enough for people to catch what you are saying, as well. It is important to make sure you are breathing deeply and regularly so that you don’t get out of breath. Slowing your breathing is a technique that can be used also to keep you calm if you are nervous. It i also a good idea to keep something to drink with you so that your throat doesn’t get dry if you are speaking for a prolonged period of time.
But remember, the most important thing is that you simply be yourself! If you try to pretend to be someone you are not it will show through as fake and put on.
If you have a big presentation at work or school coming up, contact Paul today! He helps hundreds of people prepare for presentations, assists with powerpoint presentations and much more. Don’t wait! Paul can help!
(All photos via google images)