From time to time, you will be asked to construct a presentation for your job, for your personal aspirations, or perhaps for something else entirely. If you have yet to give one of these talks, you’re likely going to start quaking in your boots. People fear the idea of public speaking more than they fear the idea of getting into a road accident. The idea of messing the entire speech or presentation up and being publicly laughed at until your trousers fall down is a nightmare many of us have from time to time, and perhaps this might be the closest to reality we could ever come to experiencing those worries. It would take a comedy of errors for that to take place of course, but we fear it nonetheless.
All public speakers can find it incredibly useful to consider how they might better themselves, or get started in the first place. But of course, you likely know that heading to a service such as Toastmasters, or a range of other adequate options is your first step. But how should you equip yourself from there? We would suggest in the following ways:
It’s quite a normal expectation for a crowd to both have the speaker to pay attention to, along with an accompanying presentation. This presentation should help distill the ideas of the speaker, and they can elaborate as required. This can also prove an extremely useful tool for the person presenting, as the statistics, graphs, images and other pressing content they wish to show will be right there. However, perhaps the worst thing you can do when organizing a presentation is to simply list off the information that can be read right there. People might wonder why you are even present and will tune out of your words quickly. This is why a presentation must only be a helper, not the fixed foundation from how the speech is structured.
However, it can also be that despite crafting your presentation in the best manner possible, its aesthetic is profoundly dull. We think of the Powerpoint slides we were often forced to sit through during training, with little color, animation, or interest in the least. This is where a service that actually makes use of motion graphics and animates each transition can keep the attention of your audience. Not only that, but it looks good. Beautiful.AI is an easy-to-use presentation software, so be sure to consider what alternatives you might benefit from this in this spirit.
A little engagement can go a long way. Of course, you can talk to your audience, or you can try and bring them into the presentation. A show of hands depending on a certain statistic might work as a random sample size, or perhaps you might allow for something impactful on a sheet of paper, as a form of notary on the seat of every attendee. It might be that you offer them the means to follow your social media, or perhaps offer an actionable process that they can do with this information following it. If speaking within a firm, you might wish to make the presentation fully available to anyone who wishes to download it from your shared drive, just in case they wish to refer to your research in their own work. And of course, if demonstrating something, perhaps a volunteer from the audience, or someone arranged beforehand could be a great bet.
But you must also consider how the audience views your stage presence. Stand up, tall, and project with your voice. Also, don’t be afraid to walk the length of the stage. Sometimes perpetual motion can help your thoughts form more quickly, and the dynamism of your gestures could add a little motion and life to that you’re saying. The more you do this, the more you will get used to it, and that can help you much more thoroughly than you might expect.
A little humor can go a long way. Of course, there might be some subject matter that does not warrant this. Perhaps presenting an analysis as to why 300 people have just been laid off from the firm, or why the latest product release was a complete flop demands a degree of sensitivity that humor would just ruin. But if the theme of your presentation is positive, a little humor here and there can prevent things from getting too stuff. Just be sure to test the humor out on a few people, to ensure you aren’t met with cold silence, and be sparse with your jokes.
With these tips, you’re sure to remain equipped for your public speaking endeavor.