Delivering a powerful presentation that leaves an impact is an art that can easily be mastered. An effective presentation is not just dependent on how well you understand and communicate your points, but your body language, variations in tone, speaking style, dressing and the making of presentation contribute as well, hence a good presentation is a combination of all these.
Here we will talk about how we can overcome our deficiencies and deliver the presentation that leaves a lasting impact on the audience.
1.Overcoming the inhibition– Get involved with the audience:
One of the commonest response to why people find public speaking difficult is because of the fear of facing the audience. They think that it takes something else to develop public speaking skills, something that they don’t have. They think that they’ll not be able to make it good in public, they’ll make blunders, would not be able to handle questions effectively etc. Actually it’s the ‘anticipation’ of something bad that creates hesitation and repulsion. So forget about this fear, everyone else delivers the presentations, and they all are ordinary people so what’s the point anyway in getting confused?
To best deliver a topic, get involved in the topic head to toe. ‘Sink into the topic’ and then talk with a belief in your mind that you’ve to show the audience a new vision, a new path. Once you ‘sink into the topic’ and then start to speak, your words would leave a powerful impact. Forget about yourself when you are speaking to the audience, make yourself live in the words that you speak.
2. Hey people “I’m from you and I talk for you”:
Don’t imagine that the audience is always there to criticize you. As a matter of fact, they are very simple and neutral people. If you speak for their benefit giving them a new direction, a new spirit to follow, your words would mean a lot the people and they are going to admire you for that. Do not be afraid of audience rather as a guide, take them along with yourself by giving them the direction and vision from your words and your knowledge.
3. Knowing the responsibility, it’s a precious chance:
When you or anyone else gets an opportunity to speak on the stage or to the audience, it is an honor as you have got something to say. When you are on the stage, you are their anchor, their leader, their guide. Use this chance to tell people how their lives, performances in their field can be improved and their troubles can be minimized and solved. Know your responsibility and strive to achieve it. And the best way to achieve it is by forgetting about yourself and ‘sink and submerge’ yourself head to toe in the topic that you want to discuss. Simply forget that you are someone, you are now what you communicate to your audience through your words, knowledge, smiles, eye contact and friendliness etc. This way you’ll be able to make impact and connectivity to your audience.
Have the motivation to speak and be committed to it.
It is always better that a day or two before your presentation, you visit the venue or if possible, practice your body and hand movement, voice intonations, turning your head towards right, center and left towards the seats where the audience would be sitting. If you will look only in one direction, all others would lose interest as when someone talks to us by looking at us, we pay attention. So you have to talk to all of them because they are there to listen to you as they believe that you have something that can change their lives. Similarly use the whiteboard only where necessary, it breaks the contact and connectivity with the audience.
Do practice where you want to give pause or silence. In your bedroom, in front of the mirror, wear your favorite shirt or you may wear a dress that is airy and open to feel comfortable. Once you know you are looking good and happy, start practicing. Remember during rehearsals, keep telling yourself jokes , this way you would enjoy doing the activity and will help you feel fresh when you would be delivering presentation.
5.The day of presentation:
Anxiety increases the level of stress hormones in body and give rise to palpitations. Do a little bit exercise to burn these stress hormones and feel confident. Wear your best dress, look neat and feel motivated because you have been chosen to speak and guide the rest of people. You are going to bring something good, something different to the people.
Take sips of water before you start to speak so that you do not face the difficulty in speaking because of dry mouth.
6.What people want?
Most of the people are looking at:
- Your body language: Bring your body language into play and in action. Recall that the singers when performing live in concert, they use their body language to keep the audience involved.
The singers use their body language that creates huge impact.
- Your appearance: Nice clothes, properly made hair and an elegant pen in your top pocket would definitely make you so look so well.
- Your words: Use diverse and various different words while avoiding repetition of the same words.
- Presentation actually: Very few people actually are looking at each and every slide of your presentation. Hence it is better to
(a) Keep the number of slides to minimum
(b) Use fresh and appealing font color and background. Do not use light font color with light background, also keep a check on the font size , it should not be too small to be read only by first 2-3 rows. Add proper headings at the top of every slide.
(c) Pictures; it would be appreciated if you add some funny picture in your presentation after every 2-3 slides. It would keep the audience involved and remarkably fresh too!
(d) Language and words ; use language in your presentation that is simple to understand and do not read the whole slide by looking at the presentation and not at the audience. The audience needs you and you should be there to talk to them not to the slide. Look for 15-20 seconds at every slide and then explain only the important points by facing the audience and bringing your body language into action.
7. When at stage:
Be happy and love the audience. When you would love them, they would sense it and respond to you warmly too. Start with a warm greeting paying respect to the chair person/president and the audience. Introduce yourself and briefly explain the purpose you are here and in 2-3 lines an introduction of what you are going to present.
Next step “Be free and enjoy delivering”.
Written by Muhammad Wasif Haq (2010)
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