Public Speaking - 5 More Tips
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Speaking - 5 Tips
Know that public speaking is the number one human fear.
So if you have ever been or are a bit nervous about giving
presentations in public, realize you are not alone. Most
people have the same problem. Continued below is our Top
10 tips to making presenting easy and comfortable for both
you and the audience.
Tip No. 6: Delivering visuals
So now you have a nice, clearly designed visual. How do
you mechanically deal with that visual? What do you do physically
to present it to the audience? Should you look at the visual?
Should you talk to the screen? Should you not talk to the
We suggest that you keep the following things in mind when
it comes to delivery with visuals: As soon as your visual
is presented on the screen, whether it be from a laptop,
or from a slide projector, or even from an overhead projector,
your audience will immediately focus one hundred per cent
of their attention on the screen.
So you effectively disappear from the room. You vaporize.
You could drop your pants, you can blow your nose – it doesn’t
matter, because until everyone in the audience has figured
out for themselves exactly what all that information means,
you’re effectively not there.
Tip No. 7: Effects
Keep in mind: if there are too many bells and whistles,
if there is too much movement, if there are too many sounds,
if there are too many things going on, people will be more
interested in figuring out how to do that with their own
presentations then they will be in the actual knowledge
you are presenting.
And that’s if your dramatic appliques are good. Most of
the time, effects just add confusion, or worse yet, disconnection.
Make sure that your message is more important and of value
to the audience than the design features of your presentation.
Tip No. 8: Pointers
We still see some people using the old wooden pointer. We
have seen people actually snap that wooden pointer in half.
We have also seen people play collapsible pointers like
an accordion. The point is, you don’t need a pointer.
An effectively designed and delivered presentation eliminates
the need for pointers of any kind. Your data should call
attention to themselves. Laser pointers seem to be very
popular these days, but very rarely does anybody in the
audience like them. In fact, they are pretty annoying to
most people and even a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon can’t
hold those things still.
Tip No. 9: Hardware
One of the things that you definitely want to make sure
is that you show up early to your presentation. Make sure
all of the equipment is in working order, the overhead projector,
the laptop whatever it is you are using. Check everything
out yourself. Just because the banquet manager came in ten
minutes ago and told you everything was working last night
doesn’t mean it is actually going to work.
We can’t tell you how many times, and we’ve traveled everywhere
from India to Indiana teaching seminars, somebody told us
something was working, and it did not.
So for that reason you have to show up early and make sure
everything is working. Make sure that you can actually work
it. Make sure that you actually see it working. It is up
to you and it is your responsibility because when you start
your presentation you can’t say, “Well you know, somebody
in the banquet department told me just a few minutes ago
that this was working.” Don’t be embarrassed. Don’t be caught
Tip No. 10: The Q&A process
This process can be very, very difficult because when you
are making a presentation, you are in essence in control.
You have designed that presentation. You have created some
excellent visuals. You know your presentation well enough
to know what’s coming next.
The problem with Q&A is that it is the unknown. You don’t
know what is going to happen. Somebody can throw you a question
out of left field. Perhaps someone can make you look bad.
There is so many unknowns that we need a system to be able
to deal with that unknown, and be sure that you look good
in the process.
One of the first things you need to know is what to do when
somebody asks you a negative question. Many of us were taught
to repeat the question back to the questioner. Do you suppose
there might be something else we could do other then repeat
a negative question? If you repeat that negative question,
what are you doing? You are in essence confirming that it
might be true.
Now actually repeating a question is not always a bad idea.
It gives you time to think. It gives the rest of the audience
a chance to hear what the question is. But if the question
imparts a negative, there is another way.
Instead of repeating the question verbatim, try this: Listen
closely to the question so that you are hearing not just
the words, but the essence of the question. Ask yourself
what is at the kernel of the question when all the negative,
inaccurate, untrue or personal agenda items are stripped
away. Then rephrase the question around that kernel, signaling
to the audience that you are actually searching deeper into
the topic that the questioner did!
Because Q&A typically is the last thing that happens in
a presentation, it is so important and vital you end on
a positive note. We can’t tell you how many times a presentation
which started off well didn’t end that way, because it all
fell apart in Q&A.
About the Author: J. Douglas Jefferys is
a principal at PublicSpeakingSkills.com,
an international consulting firm specializing in training
businesses of all sizes to communicate for maximum efficiency.
The firm spreads its unique knowledge through on-site classes,
public seminars, and high-impact videos, and can be reached
through the Internet or at 888-663-7711.
Published - April 2009
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