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10 Top Tips For Presentations & Public Speaking

We’ve all been there – the dreaded presentation… sitting awkwardly and suddenly overwhelmed with a bad attack of the fidget-bums as Mr/Mrs Mono-drone flicks to yet another mind numbingly dull corporate slide. It’s actually quite hard to keep up that ‘listening face’ whilst silently retreating to a better world where there is laughter, entertainment and something of interest to lose ourselves in. Let’s face it.. being an audience member of a dreary and mediocre speech or presentation is hard work!

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way. Here at Natural Training we live and breathe training and presentations and have worked with thousands of others to sharpen up their presenting skills and become captivating, relevant and entertaining – all the while being MORE of who they actually are – utilising their NATURAL STYLE. Here’s my low down on how to capture a crowd, take them on the journey with you and leave them wanting more…

 

1. Ditch the corporate script and slideshow – yes I know, I know HR / marketing / comms spent forever compiling it so that you too could go out and look like a factory line version of their brand. Yawn. If you have no ownership of the material you’re presenting then you are 100% guaranteed to look and sound like a robot. Get rid. Immediately!

 

2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE – remember who this presentation is for! Then get out of your own way – what do THEY need to know? What has brought them here today? Why on earth should they listen to what you have to say?

 

3. Identify your BIG IDEA! What’s the headline? The breaking news? The ‘can’t live without’ groundbreaking, ‘you heard it here first’ bit of juice? Write it down and put it in front of you as you design your content.

 

4. Now find the TOP THREE chunks of content that support your big idea, brainstorm on post it notes all the supporting info that you want to share and then chunk them into three core topic themes – the human brain can’t remember more than three ideas so don’t bother cheating here or you’ve lost your audience.

 

5. GET CREATIVE – having burnt the stock PowerPoint show you can start from scratch – go to Google images and search for pictures that demonstrate the point you want to make… if you think your audience requires the whole script you’re delivering, think again. They will go into a hypnotic trance staring at words, disengage from what you’re actually saying (including vital supporting information) and render your presence useless! You on the other hand will revert to type and start reading off the words from the PowerPoint rendering yourself a robot once more! STOP IT!

 

6. Find examples and stories to thread through your content – these breathe life into what you are saying… instead of saying ‘this new approach will make the sales process more efficient’ tell the story of Tom who has doubled his conversion rate and gets to spend Friday afternoons at home with his family!

 

6. PRACTISE, PRACTISE, then practise some more. Read out your first draft and record it, then listen back taking notes of your thoughts. Then do it again and film your efforts again editing, then finally practice in front of someone – tell them who they are as an audience member and be open to their feedback.

 

7. Make your audience the hero on this journey – a strong call to action and motivational finale will leave them clear about your main points, and vitally; clear on what to do next. Yours will be the memorable part of the day if your people are left tingling with excitement at the new possibilities ahead of them.

 

8. DON’T follow a tightly worded script… the second you miss a word or sentence you’ll start to flounder, go into your own head trying to remember the offending piece and you’ll lose your crowd. Instead use the PowerPoint to prompt you in speaking authentically and spontaneously.

 

9. MAKE EYE CONTACT with as many people as you can. THEY are your audience, NOT the dreaded PowerPoint show!!

 

10. Enjoy yourself! Your audience will feel how you feel so make sure you’re giving good vibrations!

 

There! It really all boils down to relaxing into your NATURAL style, staying who YOU are and then sharing something valuable with your audience – who, by the way, are willing you to succeed! Remember, they want you to have a great time so that they can too! And once you really own your material you will find that sharing it in front of others becomes a breeze. Enjoy!

 

For more tips on presenting, below are some more related blogs for you:

Presenting To Be Zombies – A Survival Guide

Losing The Umms and Errs

How Aroused Is Your Audience?

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