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Dying to have the audience blown away by your speech? Struggling to make a positive impression during your presentation? We all go through that heart-wrenching moment where all eyes from the crowd are on you, but instead of being a shy speaker, these tips will transform you into a confident speaker in no time.
1. Take care of your Visual Aid
Your visuals are usually in a form of a PowerPoint presentation that will guide your audience (and even you) through your speech. Your visual aid is your best friend. It should appear as an outline where each of your topics rests. Don’t bombard it with a lot of information. Most details will come from your speech or discussion. You should be the one to discuss and elaborate your ideas, not your visuals. Visuals should be light as possible. Bullets and highlights are helpful. Make sure they are easy to understand; don’t use confusing words or terms.
2. Eye Contact
This is more important than you think. Look at your audience. Don’t look at the furniture or gaze at your visuals too long. This is the most elementary rule in public speaking. When you initiate eye contact to your audience, make sure you scan the whole crowd. Don’t just focus on one corner or person. You may want to make the audience feel that they are part of the presentation and that you are more than grateful to have them.
3. Be Confident. Sometimes it’s all about the confidence and having your own personality. Showcase your personality in your speech or presentation. This is a wonderful opportunity for the crowd to know you more. Smile and talk as if you are seriously talking to a single person. Make your speech sound intimate and private. That will present an air of enthusiasm. Audience wants to hear a presenter or a speaker who is really interested and excited to share information and his or her experiences.
4. Humor. Injecting humor is a good strategy to sustain the attention and the interest of the audience, but make sure you are not the only one cracking up after punching in a few jokes. Be serious in delivering your humor. Seriousness, ironically and apparently, makes your humor more humorous. Humor is different from sarcasm and you need to be fully aware of that especially when presenting in a corporate event.
5. Humanize yourself. When delivering a speech or a presentation; you don’t want to sound like the most righteous person in the world or like you’re preaching about the norm. That doesn’t mean you need to be negative though. State straightforward facts, may it be ugly or pretty. The audience stops listening not because they heard what they expected to get, but because they are eager to hear things that they did not expect. Knowing that will make your speech and presentation worthy to be listened to
6. Know Your Language. Bottom-line is- no one wants to hear “like, u know, ahmms” and especially, mispronounced words. They will give a bad impression to your audience. You may want to practice delivering your speech or presentation a few days before. Review how you enunciate and pronounce words because these are not small things. You don’t want to sound like a machine onstage. The audience expects you to be a good speaker. Period. Don’t disappoint them. As the old saying goes ‘Practice makes perfect.’ It will not hurt when you practice a few lines before a presentation. It’s always helpful.