Speak to Impress: Elevating Your Presentations to the Next Level
If you think presentation skills aren’t critical for you because you “don’t present much,” think again! Presentation is a vital skill for anyone. Certified Speaking Professional and Founder of MotionFirst, Meridith Elliott Powell reminds us, “Presentation skills are how we connect, engage, and influence others.” Whether you're presenting yourself at a staff meeting, explaining a new project to your organization's executives, or introducing yourself at an event hosted by a professional organization, how to present your ideas in a compelling way. Learning is your secret weapon in business. long-term career success. Moreover, these skills not only affect a person's professional image and reputation but can also directly affect business outcomes.
In this article, we want to share with you 6 key points that will help you leave your audiences feeling like that last type of speaker!
1. Research Your Audience
As a speaker, presenter, or simply chair of a conference, your job is more than just attending and lecturing content to an audience. Before you sit down and start framing your story, see who your audience really is. What problems do they have that you can solve, what do they really care about, what excites them, and why would they benefit from your presentation? The more you can learn about it in advance, the better.
2. Plan Your Points and Stories
Most presenters know how important planning is. A well-prepared presentation is of a higher quality than a spontaneous one. However, the mistake many moderators make at this step is how they prepare. Many presenters script their talks or prepare slides that say everything they want to say. And on the day of the presentation, they just read the script or read the slides verbatim, boring the audience with just the data and no charisma behind the facts.
3. Visualize Success
When you imagine a successful presentation and focus on a positive outcome, your subconscious will take action to achieve that outcome. Imagine how your viewers' lives will improve when they act on the information you choose to share. Imagine your presentation ending with thunderous applause and a standing ovation. Imagine the faces of your audience making life-changing breakthroughs based on your arguments. All you have to do is imagine the presentation going perfectly.
4. Deliver with Certainty
Audiences expect authoritative figures from presenters. You should come off like you know what you’re talking about. Confident presentations make you look confident, which is the key to getting people's attention and seeing you as an authority figure. Make sure you believe in yourself and never talk about things you don't fully believe or apply to your life. Speaking in harmony with who you are can give you a level of comfort that can never be faked. This will give you confidence in what you say and prove to your audience that you are an authority. This alone will dramatically change the quality of your presentation.
5. Practice meaningfully
Effective practice is to score points by coordinating head and mouth. When you read your presentation, you are only practicing one of these two key elements. Say it out loud in real time for meaningful practice. You don't need an audience, a camera, or a mirror (in fact, avoid practicing in front of a mirror altogether). All you need is the time and space to go through the entire presentation. This is the only way to know exactly how long your presentation will last.
6. Turn nervous energy into excitement
Studies show that moving from tense energy to excitement is as easy as saying "I'm excited" every time I feel "nervous" because the responses are closely related. Instead of showing fear at your achievements, you may appear excited and exude passion for your point of view.
Source: HBR, Medium, Forbes, Virtual Speech