Making a presentation
or public speaking of any kind can be made a bit easier if you follow
the following simple tips as outlined by Marjorie Brody, CSP, CMC. They
may not immediately eliminate the knots you may feel in your stomach
but once practiced will ensure a smooth and professional presentation
1. Know your P-A-L.
Your Purpose, Audience and Logistics. Purpose: Whether you are talking
to your boss about getting a raise or updating an entire department
on a project, know what your purpose is in giving your presentation.
Is it to inform, persuade and/or entertain? Tailor your presentation
to your purpose.
Audience: Who is
your audience? What age group are they in, where do they live, what
attitude do they have?
are the things that have to be organized. You should know how much time
you have to speak, what time of day it will be and how the room will
be set up.
2. Pay Attention
to Timing Plan, prepare and practice for 75 percent of the allotted
time you are given to speak. If you end early, no one complains, but
ending late is poor planning. If you expect audience involvement, plan
on speaking for 50 percent of the time and using 25 percent for the
3. All Presentation
Material is Not Created Equal When preparing your speech, consider the
must know, should know and could know. Limit material based on time
or audience interest.
4. Hit Emotional
Buttons. Include stories, analogies and metaphors to reinforce the key
points of your presentation. That creates more impact and action than
5. Create User
Friendly Notes. Use bulleted points instead of sentences. Make the type
easy to read (use a felt tip pen or at least 18 point type, bold face,
if printed), only use the top 2/3 of the page to avoid looking down,
and use highlight pens to indicate the must, should and could know information.
6. Practice Out
Loud and Say it Differently Each Time. "Spontaneity is an infinite
number of rehearsed possibilities". Doesn't Tiger Woods still practice?
7. Channel Your
Adrenaline into Enthusiasm Stage fright is a negative term for excitement.
No coach tells the team to be calm. Instead, control the physical symptoms
of stage fright by breathing from your diaphragm and using positive
visualization. Being prepared will also boost our confidence.
8. Deliver with
Passion It is amazing how catchy enthusiasm is. If your voice is expressive
and your gestures animated, you will appear to be confident and passionate.
9. Think ahead
to all Possible Questions That May be Asked The question and answer
part of the presentation may be more important than the actual presentation
- particularly the questions that might throw you. Remember to paraphrase
the questions before answering them and take into account the motivation
of the questioner. When answering the questions, look at all audience
members - they may have had the same questions. Treat all questions
and questioners with respect.
10. Remember that
Speaking Is an Audience Centered Sport Avoid speaking out of ego, appearing
too cocky or unprepared. As long as you stay focused on the audience,
in preparation and delivery and during the A& A, you should be successful
as a presenter.