Don’t Fear the Pause
If you listen to experienced speakers, it’s easy to see some real differences in how they step through their presentation than maybe how you go about giving a talk when you are called upon to speak in public. But it is a good exercise to use every opportunity to listen to different public speakers and learn from them. From speakers who are not effective, study why they are and learn how to correct those problems in your presentation. For speakers who are very good, learn what they do that works and copy their methods without shame. It’s all part of learning from each other.
One thing that jumps out when an experienced public speaker is holding an audience in the palm of his hand is that he is totally relaxed up there. That is a calculated relaxation. In fact most of the methods he uses such as his use of hands, the vocal range of his voice, where he looks and how he moves are all carefully planned and part of that presentation and who that speaker is. And all of those things come with time and practice. So if you need a few times in front of a group, or a few dozen times before you can begin to get that relaxed, be generous with yourself and allow that public speaking is the kind of thing that you can read about all day long but you don’t get good at it until you get good at it.
One thing that very often jumps out in a speaker who is at ease with his style is that for most of us the idea of a pause is terrifying. But notice smooth speakers often will pause and allow that moment of quiet in a presentation to just hang there. When that pause happens for that other speaker, you may have felt as terrified as if it was happening to you. But not to worry. As you noticed, that skilled speaker uses pauses to create interest and isn’t afraid to let his presentation stop for a moment either intentionally or to check notes or make some other adjustment.
The pause is actually a very powerful communications tool that if you can master it, you can use it to make points, add drama or just wake up an audience that may have begun to doze off on you. That is because as you speak along, if your presentation is somewhat long, it is easy for people to be lulled into an unintentional trance of sorts. The mind can wander and that is the condition people get into when they doze off as you speak. They track to the continuous sound of your voice and the melodic tempo that you naturally fall into when you speak in public.
When you begin to use pauses and changes to the tempo of your presentation, you break that natural rhythm of your talk. The pause will jar the audience back to you and they will suddenly be attentive with that “what did I miss” look on their faces. That is a real tool to you to help your audience stay focused and to use particularly when you are approaching a point that is an important part of what you have to say.
Most of us when we are just starting out in public speaking fear the pause in our presentation in the worst way. That moment when you are not speaking and that audience is looking at you and nothing is happening can feel like you are falling to your death. But in truth, all you have done is focus the concentration of the group on you and on your talk. So don’t fear the pause. If used with caution and sparingly, it can be a powerful communications tool to help you make your point.
Deer in the Headlights
People who make their living researching what frightens people the most have made a pretty amazing discovery. Consistently when people list the top five things they are afraid of in life, they have are some pretty intimidating terrors. But you would think that death would rank number one on that list. But death doesn’t take number one, it has to settle for number two. Amazingly, the number one thing that terrifies most people is not death, it is public speaking. A popular comedian once said that this means that people would rather be the guy in the casket at a funeral than the guy giving the eulogy.
If you have ever been in a meeting listening to a speaker, you can usually tell if they are terrified. They will get up there and you will see that “deer in the headlights” look. You know that look. It is one of extreme fear, panic, and terror so profound that the person is frozen in place unable to speak of move. And if you have ever been that guy or gal in front of a group giving the “deer in the headlights” look, you know the feeling of terror that happens in front of a group of people can be pretty awful.
So if you know that public speaking is going to be part of your job or something you have to regularly, you have to find a way to neutralize that fear and be able to relax in front of a crowd when you speak. How often have you sat and listened to a speaker who was relaxed, funny, bright and even able to field questions with no difficulty at all? It’s easy to admire that kind of public speaker and think that he or she has some magical powers that you will never get. But they don’t have magic. That speaker has just learned some techniques for neutralizing those fears so he or she can appear relaxed and as though he or she is having fun up there. It’s not an inborn talent. It’s a skill which can be learned.
Of course a lot of the ability to look out at a sea of faces who want to hear what you want to say and not feel sick comes from experience. But experience teaches you things that you can at least understand before you become an old pro at public speaking. One of those things is that the crowd out there doesn’t know what to expect. If you broke down why you feel terrified in front of people, it’s that you think that they think they know what they want and that you are being judged.
But to understand what people really expect when they are looking at you at the podium on stage, just remember the last time you heard someone speak. You had no predefined idea what was about to be said and you probably had no outline or any frame of reference what that speaker was going to say. That means that even if you don’t deliver your speech perfectly, they will never know that! As long as you don’t let on that you are nervous or not sure about your material, they won’t know if you got it wrong. If you forget an entire segment of your speech, as long as what you do say flows nicely and they never know you forgot it, the people listening will think your speech was just fine and will probably applaud.
Also remember that you are not really speaking to a group. The group has no ears. You are speaking to several individuals. When you are listening to a speaker, you are one person listening to one person. That is how each person in that audience is receiving you, as individuals. So if you speak to them as though they are one person, not a crowd, your presentation will be warm and personal and very successful. And the crowd will like you to which helps a lot.
Just remember that their expectations of you are fairly low and for the most part, people hearing you speak want you to succeed. So smile at them, use a bit of humor and use that little insider tip to relax up there. And when you can relax, you can actually have fun at public speaking rather than wishing you were the guy in the casket instead.
Create a Problem and Then Solve It
How well your presentation goes the next time you step up to a podium depends on several factors. But one factor you can control completely is your script. The way you organize your content and how you present the material to that crowd can either totally captivate them and drive them step by step to conclusion or it can bore them to sleep. Its all in how you construct your presentation and how you present what you want them to know throughout the talk.
The difference between a great talk and a boring one is simple. A great talk is compelling. A great talk gets to the heart of a common experience. It addresses something we all go through and deals with a need we all experience. In short, a great talk solves a problem. So to create a presentation that reaches out and grabs your audience and holds them for the entire time of your presentation, you have to create a problem for them. And then you have to solve it.
The point when you create the problem is in your opening comments. Now don’t shy away from being a bit melodramatic in your opening. Remember the goal of the opening is to grab the audience’s group attention and rivet it on your talk. So present the problem statement in a personal way, how it is meaningful on a personal level to the audience and to you. A about 20% of the time to the creation of the problem statement. By the time you have created that big monster in the room, they will be ready for you to guide them toward the solution.
With the audience “in the palm of your hand”, you can move directly into the description of the perfect solution. The solution phase of your talk can be broken into two parts. First describe what the perfect solution would look like. You would not even directly bring up your solution just yet. Base your description of the perfect solution on the problem statement so you have an aspect of the solution that fits every possible problem created at the first part of your talk.
The next phase is the next to the last and comes about 50% into your time. Now you have the audience in a perfect place to hear your solution. Use about 30-40% of your total time on the proposed solution, fitting it perfectly to your discussion of the problem and the outline of what a perfect solution looks like. By this time the audience is eager to know the solution. All you are doing now is closing the deal.
If we followed a standard “term paper” approach to a program, the final phase would be to sum up and go over what you just talked about. Btu we are not going to follow that pattern because this is the time for the “pay off”. In your closing statements, you finally disclose the action to be taken. By giving your audience what they can do to take the first step on putting your solution into motion, you are cashing in on all that energy you created in the first 80% of your speech.
Now close the deal by giving them concrete and “right now” things they can do to recognize the problem and start the wheels turning on making the solution a reality. If its possible make the first step of implementing that solution happen right there in the room with you. That might be signing up for a newsletter, giving you an email address or going to another room for further counseling and discussion. You know what it is. But by using that energy, you convert passive listeners to active participants. And you did that with a very well designed and a well executive presentation plan.
Becoming Larger Than Life
To say that there is no ego in a person who does public speaking regularly or for a living would be clearly a false statement. But for those of us who only speak from time to time, when you see a speaker who can walk out in a room of 30 people or a auditorium of 3000 and literally “own the room”, it really is an amazing transformation. To imagine how you could ever be that much larger than life is mind boggling.
But in a lot of ways, when you step out to talk to a group of people, you do become larger than life. That is because you are doing the impossible. You are having a conversation with dozens of people all at once. Now, whether you feel like you are having that conversation or not isn’t important. If your talk is not interactive, you may not know the dialog is happening. But in the minds of every single individual in that hall, they are interacting with you. What you are saying is getting down inside of them and they are reacting to it. But even more than what you are saying, how you are saying it is having an even bigger impact.
So are there things you can do to “become” larger than life? Well there are some ways of behaving in front of a crowd that differ from daily life. We do have to accept that you will develop a “stage persona” that is different from your daily personality when you speak to a group. Does that make you a phony? No. Both of those personalities are you. It is just a different you when you relate to a group than to people one on one and it seems strange because that form of you only comes out on stage. But it isn’t a Dr. Jekyll, Mr. Hyde thing. Just as you speak to a child differently than you speak to an adult, you will develop a way to talking to a group that differs from speaking to an individual.
Part of becoming larger than life is learning to what they call “own the room”. This sound egotistic and strange but it really does work when you are about to speak. Owning the room simply means that when you step out in front of that crowd, they are no longer some random group of people, they are YOUR people. They are there to listen to you and what you say is of value to them. If you had any ego problems before you stepped out in front of that audience, check that ego problem at the door.
You must assume that you are adored when you speak to a group of people. This doesn’t mean you strut about like God’s gift to the world. But it does mean that you recognize that your value to this group is as a speaker and that your services are wanted and needed here. In fact, the only way you will be an effective public speaker is if you own the room. Treat that room like it was your home and these people came here just because being with you is just that great. If you step out there with that attitude, the audience will buy into your attitude and they will give you the room and be glad you took it over.
It can be a bit strange if you watch yourself become larger than life. But you can be humble about it and just recognize it is part of the craft of becoming a great public speaker. And if being good at this art you are gifted to give to the world means owning rooms and becoming bigger for an hour or so, well then why deny the world that experience? Enjoy it and let others enjoy it too.
Where to Look When You Speak
When you are giving a presentation or speech, your body language and how you hold yourself in front of a crowd speaks to them as much as your words do. And part of not begin nervous in front of people when you are doing public speaking is not “acting” nervous. If you have complete control over your body, your face and your hands, you can perform relaxation in front of people and you will actually accept the idea that you are relaxed and begin to feel more at ease as you do your speech.
One problem that you often see in public speakers who is the use of the eyes. It’s extremely easy as a public speaker to want to look at your outline or your written out speech throughout your presentation so you never get lost or have that terrifying feeling of not knowing what you are going to say next. That is why many people who do not become skilled at talking in front of crowds write out their speeches word for word and just read it to the group.
The problem with that approach is you have been asked to give a speech, not a reading. And many adults take offense at being read to. An audience wants to hear “from” you, not just hear you read. If that was the only value of a public presentation, you could just hand out your speech as a white paper and let them read it and not have to get in front of people at all. But that is not as effective as public speaking, particularly if the purpose of your speech is to convince or to sell.
So the question comes up of where to actually look as you give your speech. Many speakers look at a spot at the back of the room because looking at the faces makes them nervous. This is better than staring down at your papers the whole time. For one thing, projection is a big part of getting your message out there. And even if you are using a microphone, if you speak “out” into the crowd rather than down, your voice will be clearer and you will naturally use your diaphragm to do well at enunciating each word.
The other value of looking at the back wall is that it will help you project your voice, particularly if you are not using amplification. The old actor’s motto of “performing to the last row” applies here because it means you consider everyone in that hall to be your audience, not just the people on the first row. So there is some value to that approach.
However, one of the most valuable ways you can really connect with your audience and get your message across is to make eye contact with the audience. Eye contact is commonly used by sales people to create a bond with the customer and that bond helps close the sale. But even if your presentation is not necessarily a sales situation, eye contact will get your message across. And that is what you got up there to do in the first place.
Eye contact makes the audience look at you. It keeps them attentive. To use eye contact to its maximum value, move your eyes from audience member to audience remember and speak to that individual directly. That eye contact will actually be felt by everyone around that individual and it rivets the listener to you. Don’t linger on one person because you don’t want to stare but by becoming skilled at using eye contact as you speak to a crowd, you are taking control of the presentation to make it do what you want it to do. And having control is a big key to success in public speaking.
100 Public Speaking Tips
1. Build your confidence.
One of the keys to effective public speaking is to become more confident. You have to believe that you are good in what you do; and, in order to achieve that, you need to be prepared by properly researching about the topic you are going to talk about. Aside from that, better confidence can also come from more practice.
2. Look at yourself on the mirror.
If you want to improve your public speaking skills, then you should practice in front of the mirror. By doing this, you would be able to see how you look like while doing your stuff. With that, you can see whether you need to improve your stance, the way you open your mouth, the expression of your eyes, and such.
3. Listen to yourself.
Practicing public speaking can go a long way, as far as giving your audience a pleasant experience in listening and watching you in front. However, you should also listen to your voice. Practicing your speech countless times can help. But, it would be better if you can record your voice, and listen to it, so that you can really hear how your voice sounds to your audience.
4. Practice your memorization skills.
Sharpening your mind can help you with public speaking. This is because, in most cases, when you have to present something in front of an audience, you have prepared a script for it. Improving your memorization skills can be done by playing more mind games, or by simply reading books and trying to memorize a few paragraphs in it.
5. Improve your looks.
Always keep in mind that when you speak in public, people would be looking at you. Although most people would not care much about what you wear, or how you are wearing your hair while speaking in front, it is still best to make it a point to look at your best. By wearing something that you know you would look good in, you would become more confident, which can give you a good start in speaking.
6. Learn more about public speaking.
Researching about different techniques or tricks about public speaking can help you improve your skills on it. Doing your research can be done by reading more books and magazines about it. Aside from visiting bookstores for them, you can also check out websites, which may offer eBooks about public speaking or are offering valuable information for free.
7. Seeking more help in public speaking.
Hiring someone to help you with public speaking can also be a good step to take, towards gaining success in it. However, you need to make sure that the person you are hiring really has good experience when it comes to it. Aside from that, it is best that he is someone who has been recommended to you by your friends or relatives.
8. Start with a smaller audience.
If you think that facing a pretty large crowd can be quite overwhelming, then you should speak in front of a fewer number of people first. Get your family involved with it by asking them to be your first audience. You can also ask your friends to listen to you if you want to. When you practice, pretend that you don’t know them, so that it would become more realistic.
9. Take care of your voice, especially days before speaking in public.
One of the keys to being effective in public speaking is to have a nice and clear voice. Thus, you should take care of it, especially just days before your presentation. That means, you should not have cold drinks, and you should also avoid staying out late at nights. Additionally, you should also refrain from shouting.
10. Modulate your voice.
Voice modulation simply means changing the pitches of your voice. Modulating your voice would prevent your audience to get bored or confused. Aside from that, with effective modulation, it can help you give more emphasis on certain words. Learn more about how moving your pitches up and down can affect your speech, so that you can put it to good use.
11. Give it time.
You should keep in mind that it can take some time to become a skilled presenter. Thus, you should practice more, and don’t get easily discouraged if you are not as effective as you have expected yourself to be. Practice more, and aim higher, so that you can attain your goals soon.
Being determined in whatever you do, can take you to places with it. Thus, you should be determined in providing your audience a presentation that they would truly remember. Your determination can help you in preparing for it. Aside from that, you should study well, and tailor the content of your speech to properly match with your audience.
13. Be persistent.
You cannot expect an overnight success in public speaking. If you want to become really good in it, you need to work hard for it, as well as spend time. Aside from that, you
should also hone your skills by attending more trainings in public speaking. Moreover, you can also get it contact with an expert in the field, so that he can train you.
14. Become more passionate in your topic.
If you want the people in front of you to listen to what you have to say, then you should show them that you are very interested in it. Thus, you should take note of the sub-topics that you really love, of the subject you would talk about, so that you can give more emphasis to them, while speaking. By doing that, you can show your audience that you are one of the persons to refer to when it comes to the topics you are talking about.
15. Let your audience know that you are a real person.
Whenever you want to tell your audience examples or situations to illustrate what you are trying to explain better, don’t forget that your unfavorable experiences can also help. In doing this, you would let your audience see that you are indeed a real person. Aside from that, it can also help in making them see that you are sincere.
16. Grab your audience’s attention.
One of the best ways to grab the attention of your audience is to tell a funny story. Aside from that, you can also cite an anecdote or a quotation for it. You want to do this at the first part of your presentation, so that people would listen to you. Once you have their attention, you can expect them to listen to all the important things you have to say.
17. The right way to prepare.
One of the keys to proper preparation for a presentation is to gather important information about your topic. Researching can now be done through the internet, which is more convenient. If you are able to uncover important materials for your topic though, once you are done with your speech, don’t throw it away, since you may have good use for it in the future.
18. Tell stories.
While you are giving your piece, you want to tell stories related to it, so that people would continue listening to you. When you tell stories about other people though, make sure that you also get to know them well. This way, you can tell your audience about certain facts about such persons, which can make them realize that the stories are indeed true.
19. Don’t just rely on your voice.
Keep in mind that people learn not just through listening in the lecture, but also through visual stimulation. Thus, aside from developing a good voice for it, you should also check your facial expressions. More importantly, don’t forget that you can also make use of props, visual aids, and other tools that can help you captivate your audience.
20. Don’t forget about time.
When you are going to give a presentation, don’t forget about its allotted time. You don’t want to have someone waving at you, and giving you signals that you are out of time, when you are still halfway through your speech. Thus, take note of the allotted time, and make your speech fit it appropriately.
21. Watch masters in public speaking more often.
Whether it would be through seminars or television, you should watch masters in public speaking more often. This way, you get to take note of their techniques, their habits, and other good practices. Watch them, so that you can also get a better idea on what makes them successful public speakers.
22. Check the room or the venue.
As much as possible, you want to visit the room or the venue that you are going to do your presentation on. This way, you would become more familiar with the environment where you are going to present in front of a group of people. If it is possible though, spend some time in the spot where you are going to speak, so that you can have an idea on what it would be like.
23. Know your audience.
Learning more about your audience can help you a lot when it comes to the kind of speech or presentation you want to have. For example, if you are going to present in front of professionals, then you should keep it formal, but don’t forget to throw out some jokes. This can keep them from becoming bored.
24. Be sober.
It is never a good idea to drink some alcoholic beverages prior to giving out a speech. There are actually some people who believe that drinking a bottle of beer can help them gain more courage in facing a crowd. However, it is much better to listen to someone who is sober, even if he shows some signs of nervousness, than listening to someone who is drunk.
25. Learn as much as you can about the topic you are going to talk about.
Spend as much time as you can in researching about the topic you are going to talk about. This is to make sure that you are as prepared as you can, in giving your presentation. Keep in mind that the more prepared you are, that more effective you can be in delivering your speech. Thus, it can also boost your self-confidence, which is very important in public speaking.
26. Anticipate possible questions from your audience.
If the kind of presentation you are going to make would give an opportunity for some people to ask questions, then you should be prepared for it. One way of doing this is to anticipate possible questions from your audience, and preparing professional answers to them. Try to come up with the most difficult and unexpected questions, so that you won’t be caught off guard when someone asks them.
27. Practice more.
The more you are going to practice your presentation, the more you would become an expert on it. Thus, you should practice more often. Practice in front of your kid, your spouse, your dog, as well as in front of the mirror. Time your presentation, and give more emphasis on those points that are more challenging.
28. Be comfortable.
The more comfortable you are in front, the more effective you can be in conveying your message. To achieve that, you should make sure that you are comfortable with what you are wearing. Aside from that, keep in mind that it can also be achieved when you have properly prepared for the speech.
29. Be positive.
When you constantly think of negative thoughts, then you may not become successful in public speaking. Thus, you should always think that you are great in it, so that you would be able to attain that. When you constantly have positive thoughts, you would become more confident in yourself, and have the motivation to constantly improve.
30. Giving your audience what they want.
It is best if you know what your audience want, before you have your presentation. This way, you would be able to convince them to listen to you all throughout your speech. Thus, if your audience what to be entertained, then you should not hesitate in telling a couple of funny stories, which are all related to the topic you are talking about.
31. Don’t forget to bring some notes.
When you do your public speaking, it is necessary to have some notes in front of you, in order to have something as your guide, as far as following a certain flow in your speech. Thus, you should prepare them beforehand. Make the notes small, but highlight some words, so that you can easily see them at a glimpse.
32. Don’t put yourself down.
Don’t be too hard on yourself, if you feel that you have not given your presentation a hundred percent. Always remember that you can always make some adjustments on your upcoming presentations, so that you can improve further. Aside from that, it does not necessarily mean that your audience did not enjoy your speech, if you think that it was not good.
33. Public speaking is not a matter of life or death.
You should learn to relax when you are speaking in front of a crowd. When you miss out on something that you have on your notes, you should remember that no one except you would know that. Aside from that, no one is going to shout at you if you missed an image in your visual aids.
34. Don’t tell your audience that you are nervous about your speech.
If you are nervous about your speech, it is actually not the best move to tell your audience about it. If you do, then they may see you as someone who lacks experience and better skills in public speaking. Thus, it is best to hide it, and gain control over it. Sound more confident at the beginning, and you will realize that just prior to hitting your first minute in front, all your nervousness would already be gone.
35. Give it your best shot.
Every time you speak in front of a crowd, make it a point to always give it your best shot. This means that you should always try to make it your best speech ever. By doing it this way, you are always challenging yourself to be better on it, and you are recognizing the fact that there is always room for improvement.
36. Don’t speak too fast.
One of the most obvious signs of nervousness and lack of confidence is when a speaker begins to talk real fast. Thus, even if you are nervous, you should learn how to pace yourself. Always remember that when you talk fast, in most cases, your audience may not be able to understand what you are saying. Thus, slow down at bit, so that you can also gain more control over your nervousness.
37. Try to avoid looking at the eyes of the people in front of you.
If it is your first time to speak to a large crowd, then try to avoid looking at the eyes of people nearest to you, since it can make you more nervous. This does not mean that you should look at the floor, ceiling, or your sides. Always remember that they want you to look them in the eye; however, if you are too nervous in doing it, you should look at their forehead instead.
38. Take a deep breath.
If you are trembling, especially when you are just a few seconds away to being called for your speech, you should practice deep breathing. Taking a deep breath can help in calming your nerves. Thus, just before you position yourself in front of the crowd, take a deep breath, so that you would become more relaxed, and be rid of your nervousness.
39. Be funny, but don’t overdo it.
Telling jokes that are related to the topic you are talking about can be an effective technique in getting your audience’s attention. However, you should not over do it. When you tell too many jokes, some people may think that you are a comedian instead of a professional public speaker. Aside from that, it can also take away the validity of your presentation..
40. Everyone makes mistakes.
Making mistakes is actually normal. Thus, you should not worry too much about them. For example, if you mispronounced a couple of words, you should not dwell too much about it, since it can affect your whole presentation. What you need to do instead, is to acknowledge them, and to simply move forward.
41. Keep it short and simple.
Always remember that not too many people love to hear or watch long speeches and presentations. Thus, you should keep it short and simple, as much as you can. However, make sure that you are able to cover all the important topics, so that your audience are able to gather important information from your speech.
42. View yourself as the messenger.
It is highly unlikely that you would be asked to give a presentation about yourself or your life story. Thus, always keep in mind that your presentation is not about you. It is actually about the topic that you are going to talk about. With that, view yourself as the messenger that would convey the information to the audience, so that you can focus more on that, instead of focusing on yourself.
43. Try to fake it.
If you don’t have confidence on yourself when it comes to public speaking, then you should fake it. Faking it means that you should try to act that you are confident, when you are in front and talking to your audience. By doing that, they would listen to you more attentively, and eventually, you would even gain the confidence you didn’t have.
44. Just be yourself.
Watching experts in the field of public speaking can help you in a lot of ways, but it is best not to mimic them. This is because, some people in the audience may be familiar of the techniques and styles that you are copying. Just pick some good points from the experts, and be yourself, so that you would be able to come up with your own style that people would love.
45. Practice yoga.
Yoga does not only provide you relief from stress, but it can also maintain the health of your voice and your throat. Thus, you should practice yoga more often. By performing
certain yoga techniques, you would be able to clear your throat, and prevent all sorts of problems that are related to your voice.
46. Always remember that your audience is the most important part of your presentation.
Don’t forget that every time you have a presentation, it is not for yourself, but for your audience. Thus, you should keep in mind that they are the most important part of your presentation. With that, make sure that you are able to deliver a speech that can catch their attention, so that they would be able to benefit from it.
47. Say what the audience want to hear.
Saying what you want can help you become more comfortable in speaking in front. However, if you want your presentation to become more effective, then say things that your audience need to hear. Always remember that people are listening to you, because they are hoping to learn from your presentation. Thus, you should focus more on what they need, so that you can come up with an effective speech.
48. What to do, when you are called for an impromptu speech.
If your employers have called you for an impromptu speech, there are certain things to do, to make it your best. One of which is to immediately stand, and avoid showing any kind of hesitation, so that you will gain a more commanding presence. Aside from that, keep in mind that your bosses would not have requested you for the presentation, if they believe that you are not ready for it.
49. What to do when some people are not listening.
When someone is not listening to you, one of the things that you can do is to increase the volume of your voice a bit. Aside from that, you should also try to make eye contact with them, in order to grab their attention. By doing that, you are actually giving them signals that you noticed that they are not listening.
50. Arrive at the venue early.
When you arrive late at the venue where you are going to do your presentation, you may not be able to prepare yourself properly for it. Thus, it is best if you can be at the place at least 30 minutes either before your speech, or even before the program starts. By doing that, you can do all the necessary preparations you need, in order to feel more comfortable and be at ease at the place.
51. Being nervous is normal.
Don’t be too worried about being nervous, since it is perfectly normal. In fact, even some of the most experienced public speakers still feel their legs trembling, prior to giving their speeches. What makes them look like they do not fear being in front of
people is their confidence. When you are confident, you will be able to overcome your nervousness, and become more comfortable in the latter part of your speech.
52. Don’t let certain things distract you.
When you are speaking in front of a large crowd, there is always a possibility for certain things to distract you. Some of which would include certain individuals standing up while you are talking, or late comers opening the doors. Keep in mind that these things will only become your distractions if you let them.
53. Preventing people from looking outside the windows.
If your presentation is going to be at a small room, where a certain number of participants are seated in front of you, you don’t want them to constantly look outside the windows and miss out important points from your speech. To prevent this, you can make sure to close the blinds just before starting your piece. Aside from preventing people looking outside, you can also minimize distractions by not having to see other individuals looking from outside.
54. Sort out any problems beforehand.
Whenever there are problems in the venue, it is best if you sort them days before the event. Thus, it is best if you can visit the venue to thoroughly check it days before your speech. If that is not possible, then be there an hour prior to the start of the program, so that you can fix any issues immediately.
55. Don’t forget to check the sound system.
Speaking in front of a large crowd can be frustrating, if you know that some people seated at the back are not able to hear you well. Thus, make sure that the venue can offer a good sound system. Aside from having adequate volume, the sound should also be in good quality, so that people would be able to understand you perfectly.
56. Words you should always remember.
Some of the words you should always remember and tell yourself would include prepared, poised, powerful, persuasive, commanding, composed, and confident. When you do this, you would eventually feel that you can deliver a great speech. Aside from that, it can also make your audience see that you are a person that can be described by the words mentioned on top.
57. What not to do when unprepared.
If you have not been able to prepare yourself for the presentation, one of the things that you should not do is to apologize. This should not be done, since it will make you feel less confident. Aside from that, people may not want to listen to you, since they won’t be expecting much from your presentation.
58. Take full advantage of your notepads or index cards.
There may be times when you get stuck on what sub topic you want to explain next. To prevent this from happening, you should take advantage of your index cards, and write down your opening phrases in bold letters on top of them. By doing that, you won’t have to deal with a long pause, since you can simply read them out and continue from there.
59. Become more familiar of the visual equipment you would be using.
If you are simply going to borrow a projector or any kind of visual equipment at the venue, then you should familiarize yourself in operating it. You don’t want to get your presentation delayed, just because you don’t know how to turn to the next page, or to return back to a previous one. Therefore, spend some time with it prior to your presentation, so that you would know how to operate it perfectly.
60. Avoid technical jargons.
When your presentation is technical in nature, you may get tempted in using technical terms for it. However, you should consider the possibility that some of the people in your audience may not understand them. Thus, it is best to make use of simple terms, so that you can ensure that all of them would know what you are talking about.
61. When involved with a sales presentation.
If your presentation is about sales, then make sure that you make it as lively as possible, especially if you want to motivate your audience to making more sales. This is because, the energy in your presentation can determine the kind of motivation the sales force would have when they leave the room. Aside from that, you should also make sure that you tell them stories that can inspire them.
62. Don’t worry about the few who may not appreciate your presentation.
After your presentation, you would know if people like it when they start clapping their hands, smile at you, or stand in ovation. However, you may notice that some would simple go out of the room, or are clearly not satisfied. When this happens, remind yourself that you cannot please them all. Thus, just let them go, and appreciate the fact that most of the individuals who listened to you are happy with what they learned.
63. A presentation is not the time to wear something new.
Trying out a new pair of shoes in a presentation may not be a very good idea. This is because, you still do not know, whether wearing it can still be comfortable even after standing for quite some time. This is also applicable to wearing a new shirt or a new pair of pants, since you want to be very comfortable during your speech.
64. How to project your voice properly.
Projecting your voice is essential in order to make sure that people can hear you clearly. Keep in mind though that voice projection is completely different from shouting. You need to make use of your diaphragm when you do it, so that it would sound good, and more commanding.
65. What to do when an error is committed.
When you said something wrong, or you made an error in using the visual aid, try not to apologize for it. Chances are, your audience may not have even noticed it. Thus, if you are going to apologize for it, then people listening to your speech would realize that you made a mistake. Some would probably take note of it; however, many would not even care, as long as you provide them with valuable information.
66. Using a whiteboard.
If you want to make use of a whiteboard for your presentation, make sure that the pens are working, prior to using them. This is because, visual aids are also very important, when it comes to helping people understand your message better. Aside from that, you don’t want to delay your presentation by spending time in looking for a pen that actually works.
67. Learn more about PowerPoint.
PowerPoint is a program that can help you a lot when it comes to having an effective presentation. It is true that you can hire someone to make the PowerPoint presentation for you, in accordance to your report. However, it is best if you are the one who makes it, especially if it is quite long, so that you are more comfortable and effective in using it.
68. Using a script.
While it is true that you can come up with your own script for a presentation, it is not actually a good idea to use a full script for the whole part of it. This is because, it can make you sound boring. Aside from that, people can also notice that you lack in emotion. Thus, make a script for your presentation just for the purpose of having guide for it, so that people would appreciate it more.
69. Practice your entrance.
Arriving early at the venue where you are going to do your presentation can give you a chance to practice your entrance. Practicing your entrance can help in making you more comfortable in delivering your speech. Thus, try to practice getting on the stage when no one is around yet, so that you can gain more confidence.
70. The right way to end the presentation.
The last thing that you should do prior to ending your presentation is to deliver your “call to action” phrase. This should be done after the question and answer portion, as well as the part where you show your appreciation to the audience and organizers. By doing
that, your “call to action” phrase would remain in the minds of the participants, once they leave the venue.
71. How to make sure your voice is loud enough.
If you are unsure whether people at the back can hear you, then one way around it is to have a friend stand or sit at that part of the venue. By doing that, he can give you signals that would indicate whether your voice is loud enough or not. Just make sure that you agree on the signals, so that you won’t get confused.
72. Check your slides prior to the presentation.
When people have not arrived at the venue yet, try to sit at the back of the venue, after turning on the slides. This would give you an opportunity to check whether people sitting at the back rows would be able to see your slides properly. With that, it can still give you time to make adjustments when needed.
73. Don’t rely on your slides too much.
Some people think that with their slides, they would have something to refer to when it comes to reminding themselves what to talk about next. Keep in mind that your audience can also read the slides, which can make them get ahead of you. Aside from that, if the slides won’t work, then you may not know what to talk about next. Thus, it is best to practice your presentation without the slides, and carry some notes about it during the presentation.
74. Turn off your phone prior to your speech.
Turning off your mobile phone prior to your speech can help you focus more on the task at hand. Aside from that, it can also help in preventing you from getting distracted with unimportant text messages. Some people think that putting the phone in silent mode would also suffice. However, when in silent, you may have programmed it to vibrate, which can still become a distraction.
75. Know why your audience come to your presentation.
When you are able to identify the possible reasons why your audience have come to your presentation, then the better your presentation becomes. This is because, you would be able to tailor your presentation in accordance to their reasons. Do your research, so that you can ensure that they would appreciate your presentation more.
76. Stop or minimize using word fillers.
There may be times when you use lots of errs and ums in your speech, which is not good to hear. To put a stop to it, then you may ask your friend for assistance. A friend can help you by standing at the back, and raising his hand each time you use word fillers, to remind you not to do it again.
77. What to take note of, when presenting in front of a small group.
If you are presenting in front of a smaller sized group, then most likely, they are decision makers of big companies. Thus, you need to do thorough and formal in giving your presentation. Aside from that, make sure that you know each one of them, as well as their interests in your presentation, prior to starting it.
78. Looking at the eye of a person.
It is a good idea to look at the person in the eye, when you deliver a phrase in your presentation. This is because, it can create an effect that you are sincere in it, and are confident. However, when you continue with the next phrase, you should look at another person for it, so that the other one won’t get uncomfortable.
79. Summarize your speech.
Just before ending your speech, it is best to summarize it, so that people would be able to get your message more effectively. When you come up with your summary, you should focus on the purpose of your speech. Thus, you should determine whether it would be to persuade,
entertain, or to provide important information.
80. Keep the facts coming.
Always remember that in most cases, people are watching your presentation, in order to learn more from it. Thus, you should focus on providing more facts to your audience. These facts should be derived from credible sources, and you should double check if they are accurate and true.
81. Take note of your gestures, movements, and facial expressions.
Your gestures, movements, and facial expressions can give your audience an idea about a lot of things about you. By watching them, your audience would know whether you are confident in your speech or not, as well as how well you know your topic. Thus, make sure to take note of them, so that you can have your audience see you as a professional speaker, who is an expert on his topic.
82. Remember the add-ons to speeches.
Three add-ons you want to take note of would include handouts, humor, and audio-visual aids. Handouts can help your audience in taking note of the topics that you are about to talk about. On the other hand, humor can make them enjoy your presentation. Lastly, the audio-visual aids would ensure that they are able to understand your topic fully.
83. Use gestures to complement your words.
When there are words that you want to emphasize more, you should make use of gestures for it. For example, if you are talking about a big cat, then show it to them with
the use of your arms. Doing it this way would not just help your audience understand you better, but it can also catch their attention.
84. Conducting a Q and A portion of the presentation.
Not every presentation may not provide you a chance to have a question and answer portion. However, if you are given a chance to have one, then you should take advantage of it. The Q and A portion of the speech would not just help you convey your message more effectively, but it can also make the impression that you are not just a speaker, but also an expert.
85. Expect the unexpected.
When you are expecting the unexpected, it does not necessarily mean that you are thinking negatively. It simply means to be prepared for it. Thus, you should be prepared on what to do, just in case the lights would go out, or the projector is not working, so that you would be able to take action for it immediately.
86. Aim for continuous improvement.
You should always remember that no presentation or speaker is perfect. Thus, you should always aim to make improvements. One way to achieve that is to seek feedback. The feedback does not have to come from experts in the field. You can also solicit it from people, especially those who are part of your audience.
87. Study other speakers.
Checking out other speakers by joining conferences and seminars is a good way to improve your public speaking skills. When you listen to them, try to study their strengths and weaknesses, and compare their styles with one another. By doing that, it can help you improve on your strengths more, and overcome your weaknesses.
88. Don’t forget to share your personal experiences.
Sharing your personal experiences in your speech is a good idea to captivate your audience. Just make sure that you are going to tell them an experience of yours, which is related to your topic. When you tell them a real story, which involves you in it, then they would listen to everything that you say, and see you as a real person.
89. Overcoming stage fright.
You would know that you have stage fright when you start to sweat excessively, have dried up lips and mouth, and trembling knees. When you experience it just before you are to deliver your speech, it does not necessarily mean that you need to back out. There are lots of things that you can do to overcome it; and, one of which is to think that most of the people you are going to speak to do not have a good background on your topic.
90. Don’t eat a few minutes before your speech.
If you want to have good energy when you speak to your audience, then you should not eat just a few minutes before you begin. In fact, it is best to eat 3 hours before your speech, so that your body is almost done processing the food you have eaten. This means that it is already utilizing it, in order to perk up your body for your presentation.
91. Sleep well.
The night before your public speaking event, you should make sure to get at least 8 hours of sleep. This way, you would have the energy that you need, in order to prepare and deliver your piece. Without enough rest, aside from not having enough energy to deliver a good speech, you may even have the tendency to forget certain parts or details of your presentation.
92. Drink adequate amounts of water.
Hours before your presentation, you should drink lots of water, and taper it down, as you go nearer to the time when you are called by the facilitator to be in front. This is to make sure that your mouth and throat won’t get dried out. Aside from that, you want to taper it down, so that you won’t feel like going to the comfort room while delivering your presentation.
93. Eat the right kinds of foods.
You need to become more familiar of the foods that can upset your stomach, if you want to be in top condition for your presentation. This way, you would be able to avoid them days before the event, and, especially on the day of the event. Upsetting your stomach on your speech day is not a good idea, since you can get distracted by your urge to go to the comfort room.
94. Work out.
Working out weeks before your presentation can actually provide you with benefits for it. When you work out, you will be able to have lots of energy when public speaking day arrives. Aside from that, it can also boost your confidence, especially since you know that you look and feel fit.
95. Do not expect achieving excellence on your first try.
If it is your first time to do public speaking, chances are, you may be able to do good at it, but it may not be your best yet. This is because public speaking is actually a skill, which you need to learn and master in time. Thus, you need to do all the necessary preparation for your first try, be relaxed in delivering your piece, and know that you can make improvements on it the next time.
96. Have public speaking style that suits your personality.
There are lots of different public speaking styles that you can use on stage. However, you should use a style that suits your personality, in order to be effective on it. Some of the styles would include laid back and casual, humorous and fast paced, and a lot more. There is no need to follow a particular style to the letter. Just be yourself, and you will soon be able to come up with your own style.
97. Establish your presence right at the beginning of your speech.
In order to grab the attention of your audience, you need to establish your stage presence right at the beginning of your presentation. This can be done by starting strong, and showing them that you are confident. Aside from that, you can also tell them a joke or two, as long as you don’t stray far from your topic.
98. Repeat the question.
If you are having a question and answer portion, then always remember to repeat the question. Repeating or paraphrasing the question can help to ensure that you understand it perfectly. Aside from that, it can also ensure that other members of the audience would know what the question is all about.
99. Wear clothes in accordance to the venue.
Keep in mind that there are venues that can be cold, while others may be a bit warm. Therefore, it is best that you know the kind of temperature you could experience from the venue you are having your presentation. This way, you can wear something that would be appropriate for it, so that you would feel more comfortable.
100. Smile throughout your speech.
Smile is something that is contagious; and, you can use it while delivering your speech, so that you can encourage a more positive atmosphere. Aside from that, when you smile while you are making your presentation, you would also feel at ease. Moreover, people would also be encouraged to listen to you, when they see you smiling.