Presentation Tips for the Traveling Professional
Hoyt Livery Inc
Airport Limo, Airport Limousine, Limo Rental
From Hoyt Livery, Inc. of New Canaan, CT
For many people, speaking in front of a group of people ranks on the fear factor next to jumping out of an airplane. Still, the ability to speak and present clearly and persuasively is integral to business success.
Whether you’re updating your boss on a project or giving a formal presentation to a room full of potential clients, read these public speaking best practices to take your talks to the next level.
1. Know your audience. Do your due diligence ahead of time and understand what is relevant to your audience. Your supervisor may understand you better if you’re “speaking her language.” If you’re talking to teenagers, a visual presentation may be more effective. And if you’re giving a proposal to a business, understand the concerns of that company or industry.
2. Keep it simple. The K.I.S.S. principle, “Keep it simple, stupid,” is a simple but wise adage. When you cram too much information into a talk, your speech will suffer and leave your audience confused, if not resentful that you’re wasting their time. Instead, keep it succinct and focus on two or three main points you want the audience to understand and retain. For example: Here is the challenge, this is what we propose and here’s why it will work.
3. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. One area where many presenters fail is not rehearsing their speech enough. Know how much time you have, write out your presentation and practice it until you know it by heart. Practice in front of family, or even the family dog. Some people think that too much rehearsal removes the spontaneity from their speech. The opposite is true: When you know what you want to say without cue cards, you’ll be more confident, your talk will flow better and your personality will shine through. Don’t forget to leave time at the end for a question and answer session.
4. Open strong with “The Rule of Three.” Great orators know the importance of opening a speech strong and drawing the audience in quickly. For example, instead of using the standard, Today, I’m going to talk to you about childhood obesity, use the “Rule of Three” instead. Children. (Long pause.) Obesity. (Long pause.) Epidemic. (Long pause.) This approach creates dramatic impact and will demand the listener’s attention from the start. Then continue strong.
5. Be aware of your body language. Make and keep good eye contact throughout your speech. If you’re nervous, look for a few key people with positive energy who support you. Smile when appropriate and use hand gestures to put an exclamation point on important points. Stand up straight and don’t be afraid to walk around and engage the audience. Your confidence will breed respect from them. Think of it more as a warm conversation than a speech.
6. Speak clearly and loudly. Another common trap of presenters is speaking too fast and/or not loudly enough. Don’t be monotone and bore your audience to death — let your voice reflect the words and emotion you are conveying.
7. Have something to relax you. In case you find yourself getting nervous or distracted, keep a small object in your pocket such as a paperclip that you can hold and focus on. It will give your nervous energy somewhere to go. Try a favorite crystal or small toy your child gave you — it doesn’t matter what it is as long as it helps you calm down and stay focused. Also, keep a bottle of water close by in case you get a “frog in your throat.” It will help clear your throat and allow you a moment to collect your thoughts.
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