Are you a founder, an executive, a manager, or any position that demands some amount of public speaking? Then you know this causes anxiety and excitement at the same time.
The anxiety of "I don't want this to go wrong". The excitement of "This is a rare opportunity to shine".
The only solution is to reduce anxiety with preparation and craft your narrative right to shine. Keep reading and add these points to your "Public Presentation Checklist"
1. Find out what's expected of you
Get details on guidelines, type of presentation, room specs, what topics to avoid, location, technical setup, etc. You don't want any surprises as in "I was supposed to bring Handouts".
No matter how good your speech preparation is, this will cast a shadow on it.
2. Know your audience
Pull out a text doc and start answering these questions. "What is the Subject Matter expertise of my audience?", "What are their respective positions?", "Why are they here?"
For example, think about your approach to a presentation in front of college students vs a room full of executives. It'll be different right?
Similarly, if you're speaking technically at a conference where the audience isn't from your industry, they're gonna wish for you to stop talking.
Always remember that audiences are selfish, they care about their own interests/entertainment/knowledge/benefits/profits. Find a topic that will add value to their presence throughout your speech.
3. Draft your content: Use storytelling
Stories are the way humans make sense of the world around them. Use it to your advantage.
Plan and structure your content to include storytelling in it. Create drafts and constantly test them from an audience's point of view. Seeking help from an external presentation design agency gives more perspective to the story.
This is how most presentations sound: SLIDE 1: WE, SLIDE 2: OUR, SLIDE 3: US, SLIDE 4: WE, SLIDE 4: OUR VALUES, SLIDE 5: OUR MISSION....and so on...ENDING SLIDE: MAYBE YOU.
DO NOT DO THIS AT ANY COST!
The first rule of presentation: Don't bore your audience to death.
4. Make it look pretty
"Get a good design for your slides" is a thing of the past. With changing awareness for audience engagement and branding, presentations are now free-flowing visual structures that complement your speaking.
Keep in mind that your audience can't read and listen to you at the same time. Plan every slide with perfectly timed animations, slide content, and script.
Build a design well and your audience won't be able to identify it as a slide show. A public presentation is nothing less than a performance and the best performances have three things in common: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, AND PRACTICE.
Write and time your script according to your slide content and design. You don't want to be reading bullet points from your text-heavy slides. When it comes to text on slides: LESS IS MORE
Seek help internally or from a Presentation Design Agency to craft a unique narrative. Storytelling engages more, influences better, and always sells more.
6. Sneaky signals
An effective way to sound natural without memorizing the entire script is to add sneaky signals on your slides to remind you of talking points.
You can add these to your designs or slide content. It's okay to not have an outstanding memory. With small creative solutions, anybody can nail their public presentation.
7. Be the center of attention
You're the product in a public presentation and should use this opportunity to its full advantage. Practice your voice modulation, pitch, tone, etc. to influence the audience in your favor.
You can't use a pitched voice in an explainer concept and vice versa. Planning & monitoring is the key.
8. Handouts/ Infographics
Irrespective of the event's demands, sharing handouts and infographics with your audience is a good practice to follow. This is the most material way of being remembered by the audience after your speech.
Plan these collaterals with value-adding and informative content. Don't forget to mention your contact details.
Hope this blog adds value to your knowledge with simple but effective tips and tricks. Use your presentations to your advantage. Go get 'em!
Are you still confused about your next public presentation?