Public speaking is a valuable skill that goes a long way toward giving your career a boost. However, speaking effectively in the public domain involves overcoming stage fright and the anxiety of speaking to a large crowd.
Many public speakers make use of presentations to convey their message more effectively to their audience. However, making a great presentation that conveys the message succinctly without confusing the listener requires a lot of practice.
Some people learn how to make a good presentation with time; however, if you want to learn from the experts, you can join a course that helps prepare for a presentation.
9 Pro Tips for Making an Effective Presentation
A good presenter is one who can engage his audience and capture their imaginations. Presentation skills are essential at various points in one’s career. For instance, a student makes presentations for his class projects and seminars.
Likewise, a professional makes presentations for his colleagues, future clients, investors, etc. Hence, if you think a lack of good presentation skills is holding you back in life, it is never too late to get yourself enrolled in a course that will help you improve.
In this blog post, you will come across some quick tips and tricks to overcome stage fright and look more confident when you give your next presentation on a public platform.
1. Know the Subject Well
Being knowledgeable about the subject of your presentation makes you confident and helps you overcome the jitters while talking to a wide audience. The majority of presentations are followed by a question and answer (Q and A) session. A speaker who is well-informed about the subject of the presentation will feel no jitters about the question-and-answer session.
So if you are not an expert on the topic of the presentation, it is best to put in a lot of time learning about the subject. When you are well-informed, you do not have to memorize the text of the presentation. A well-read person can have a conversation with the audience and convey his point quite effectively in the process.
2. Know the Demographics of The Audience
Knowing the composition of the audience is crucial for delivering the message in the most lucid manner. The same topic must be presented differently for a group of school kids and a gathering of working professionals. Hence, the social background, the cultural context, the age structure, and the educational background have a role in deciding the complexity with which the topic will be discussed.
If you are talking about a business proposal to a corporate audience, you can use a lot of jargon and expect the audience to understand. However, if you are talking about the impact of the same business proposal on the general public, then you must avoid any technical jargon.
3. Do Not Rush While Speaking at A Public Forum
Rushing through the speech at an event is the biggest sign the speaker is nervous and wants to get done with the presentation as soon as possible. Speaking more slowly shows that you are confident. When you talk at a slow pace, you let your audience grasp the concepts better. Hence, talking at a slow pace allows the audience to be more interactive.
4. Keep a Check on The Projector, Microphone, and Laptop
You are likely to use a board, a projector, a microphone, a pointer, and a laptop in the course of a presentation. As a speaker, it is your responsibility to ensure that there are no technical glitches in the course of your speech.
A microphone or a projector that stops working in the middle of a talk is very likely to disengage the audience. So if you do not want technical glitches to disrupt the flow of your talk, keep a check on the things that you will need in the course of your talk.
5. Work on Your Body Language
Your body language during a talk – the way in which you walk, the position of your hands, etc.- has an impact on your presentation. Your body language should be welcoming. Moreover, your body language should reflect confidence.
You should never keep your hands in your pocket or crossed when giving a talk. Such body language may depict hostility or nervousness. Instead, you can use your hands to convey your message more effectively.
6. Declutter Your Slides
A slide that presents a lot of information distracts the audience. When there are too many images and too much text on a slide, the audience does not know where to concentrate. So if you want to convey the information in a crisp manner, put very little and only the most vital information on the slides.
7. Make Eye Contact
Lowering your gaze or looking elsewhere while giving a speech makes you look underconfident. When you make eye contact with your audience, you engage them and hook their attention. Having constant eye contact with the audience will make sure that the listeners are not lost while you are speaking.
8. Proofread the Presentation
Even experienced speakers feel the need to make last-minute changes to their slides. Any spelling mistake or factually incorrect information that remains on your slide creates a bad impression on your audience. So it is vital to proofread your slides when making a presentation.
9. Greet the Audience
It is important to greet the audience before you start your speech. Not greeting the audience is not only rude but also shows nervousness. So prepare some good lines to greet your audience as warmly and kindly as possible.
Public speaking is a skill that gets better with practice. So if you are not confident talking to a large crowd, start building up your confidence by talking to small groups of people. Know the subject matter well, work on your gestures, and keep your slides decluttered to make a strong impact.
Some people are naturally eloquent, but if you are someone who feels the jitters when talking to a large audience, you can always seek help from a professional who trains in public speaking.