To deliver power presentations takes skill and practice. Whether you’re called to speak in front of one person or a crowd of a thousand, it’s likely you’re feeling some level of anxiety because you want to do a great job.
As a trainer and professional speaker Carly Shorter of People Realm has worked with hundreds of people to help them develop their confidence and talent as a presenter. Below are six essential skills she has shared with us to help you increase your influence in front of an audience.
ONE: PREPARE FOR YOUR SUCCESS
It’s ideal to spend 25% of your time allocated in this vital stage. To prepare well, think about the purpose of your presentation and what do you want to achieve. Also think about who is the audience and what do they want to know?
As part of your preparation take time to plan out what you’ll say in bullet points, rather than word for word so that you stay engaged with the audience rather than disconnecting by having to read notes.
Then practice, give yourself enough time to do three full runs of your presentation in real time.
TWO: CHOOSE A POSITIVE MINDSET
Become aware of your thoughts and turn down the volume on your negative inner critic. Instead pump up your inner coach by choosing positive supporting thoughts; such as, ‘I know my stuff’ or ‘I’ve got this’. By choosing positive thoughts your experience of presenting will become far more enjoyable and you’ll get better results.
THREE: KNOW YOUR CONTENT
The more confidence you have in your content, the more confidence you’ll have in front of your audience, which gives your audience more confidence in you. Take the time to thoroughly understand and feel passionate about your information and this will translate into confidence.
FOUR: USE CONSCIOUS COMMUNICATION TO INSPIRE
Words are containers for power, decide what kind of power you want your words to carry by choosing them consciously. Every word you speak and action you take is like planting a seed into the garden of your reality. Whether you are aware of it or not, your brain finds evidence to prove the words you use are true.
FIVE: BE MINDFUL OF YOUR NON VERBAL COMMUNICATION
The words you use account for a small portion of the communication your audience and listeners actually receive. Your body language and tone impacts your credibility and confidence. The next time you are presenting be mindful of the use of your hands, your body movement and maintaining eye contact with the audience.
SIX: ENHANCE YOUR DELIVERY
To maximise your impact, think about how you’ll be delivering your information. In a study of memory, learners were asked to recall information after a three-day period. The researchers found that they retained:
• 10% of what they heard from an oral presentation
• 35% from a visual presentation
• 65% from a visual and oral presentation.
There are various presentation aids, such as props, flipcharts and audio that can enhance audience memory and retention of your message.
It takes time and energy to deliver powerful presentations and the more you practice, the better you’ll become. To become an authentic, confident and engaging presenter, you’ll need to invest time in developing these six essential skills. The more you present, the more your comfort zone grows and the more fun you’ll have.
For some hands on training Carly is running a presentation skills training workshop on May 9th at the Chamber. For more details click here.