As they say, life's 03 biggest fears are:
- Public Speaking
- Death while Public Speaking
What a position you are in. You have never been through a public speaking class, nor got enough exposure on job. Yet, you are technically very sound. The business world needs you and your expertise, but you, although willing to share, can't do it effectively.
You feel that the audience is getting bored with every sentence you deliver. This terribly affects your self-esteem as a professional. Not any more – as I've decided to give away my professional training secrets to all you champion professional.
Below are some advices for you:
Practice makes better. Obvious as it may sound, too many of us ignore it. There are damn few natural professionals, lawyers or cricketers. And there are no natural speakers. You get better at speaking by speaking, and speaking. It takes at least 10 years of tough training to become a specialist doctor, so why should you expect to pick up sophisticated presentation skills by just reading stuff about it! But remember the words – 'practice makes better', not perfect. A perfect presentation is yet to be delivered… and it can't be done anyways.
Forget all the conventional "rules" but one. Frankly, most laws of speech-making -- keep your hands out of your pockets, don't say "uh," don't show your back to the audience, don't move around too much -- are garbage. But there is one golden rule: Stick to topics you deeply care about, and don't keep your passion buttoned inside your vest. An audience's biggest turn on is the speaker's obvious enthusiasm. That's as true for a pitch to purchase a Afghani 10 Million software rights as it is for a plea to give a small donation. If you're lukewarm about the issue, forget it! Passion sells more then any other rule.
Stories, stories, more stories. Charts and graphs have their place, and a pretty prominent one in many business presentations. Nonetheless, even an analytically inclined audience will remember one touching story or a real life case, long after forgetting your multicolored bar chart. The best speakers lavishly illustrate their talks with short, striking stories.
For heaven's sake, don't write it out! If spontaneity isn't everything, it verges on it. That hardly means winging it: Careful preparation spawns spontaneity. But it does mean never, ever writing it out in full. If you do, you become a slave to your exact wording and inevitably lose 75 percent of any emotional impact. You must realize that your audience is interested in knowing what you have to say – not what you have to read.
Don't even think about getting it "right." It's been quite a hectic roller-coaster training and presentation experience for me, from five minutes to five days (with breaks!) in length. If you believe "this is it," you'll be so tight you'll swing before the pitcher even finishes his wind up.
The first 90 Seconds. You're probably not a stiff around the office, and almost certainly not at home. Why be a stiff when you're making an important presentation? Put your notes on index cards (written in bold letters), so you won't be nailed to the lectern. Then wander -- around the table, into the crowd, about the platform. Look comfortable and your audience will be more comfortable too. The best of you comes when you are absolutely normal. So a tip for the first 90 seconds.
We hope, with this set of tips, you'll love yourselves as presenters.
All the best – and cheers for your great presentation in advance!
Keep learning and sharing your thoughts.