Public speaking isnt something that comes naturally for most of us and can take a long time to master, so don’t put undue pressure on yourself if this is your first time. As long as you prepare well and stay calm throughout, you’ll most likely do better than you expect.
First, ask yourself what exactly it is that you want your audience to take away from your presentation. What do you want them to go away and say about what you delivered on the day? This will help to inform the structure and the content of your presentation. Ensure that you are both engaging and compelling. It is important that the content rich and interesting, but it is just as important that are you the same when it comes to the delivery of this content. You want to be able to focus their attention on you, which isn’t easy when youre entertaining a room full of people that have possibly sat through 3 of these talks already today.
If you are going to be using a Keynote presentation, or similar, then you should be wary of a few things. Ensure everything is legible from the point of view of the audience. A good way to test is to sit around 6 feet back from your laptop screen as this is similar to scale to that of your audience sat looking at a projector screen. Use appropriate fonts, themes and images – but don’t be afraid to get a little creative!
Allow your personality to shine! Your presentation style should be a reflection of who you are as a person because this is what is going to engage the audience with you. Start off strong and confident because the first 30 seconds of your presentation are crucial in establishing your stage presence. If you can do this and maintain that pace throughout, then you’ve got nothing to worry about. Don’t stray too far from the message and purpose of your presentation with personal or industry histories unless it’s beneficial, because you will start to lose the audience. You should be able to sense when the audience is engaged or otherwise, and adjust your presentation accordingly. This may simply be an adjustment of tone and speed or even the omission of certain content altogether. You have to make these calls to ensure your presentation is a success.
Question & Answer Sessions
Rule number 1: always repeat the question. This is important as it is a way of ensuring you heard correctly, as well as ensuring other audience members heard the question. When answering, do so to the best of your ability and knowledge, but don’t spend too long on a question. You only have a short amount of time for each one, and so if you are unable to reach a conclusive answer for someone, rather than spending a long time engaging in awkward conversation, suggest perhaps a personal discussion after your presentation. This avoids isolating one person and their question for too long while the other audience members become observers.
Want more advice?
At Kendrick PR, Julia Kendrick is a highly experienced public speaker. If you would like a bit more advice or a quick chat with Julia about her top tricks and tips for presenting, then get in touch today! Link to contact form on website.