When it comes to public speaking and presentations, most people are not excited by the thought of it. According to Forbes, only 10% of people thrive on public speaking, and 10% of people are absolutely terrified of it. That leaves 80% of people who are somewhere in between. Here are some tips to help you deliver your message effectively while staying confident and comfortable throughout it.
Keep it Short
The average attention span of an adult is 20 minutes. In our current digital age, you should take into account how many more distractions a person may have in a remote setting. Keep these factors in mind while preparing your presentation. It’s common practice to lead with the most important information first so that your audience retains that information. If you’re utilizing a Powerpoint presentation, be mindful of what your slides look like—keep it simple and easy to follow along. You’ll end up creating a distraction if you have too much information on each slide. People are more likely to focus on reading and won’t hear much of what you are communicating.
Know Your Audience
Something else to consider is who you are presenting to. Who is the audience? How do they like to be communicated to? These factors will help you identify the tone of your presentation. For instance, you would not want to lead with humor if it is a serious topic or if your audience would not receive it well. Similarly, you wouldn’t want to give a serious, jargon-filled presentation to a younger crowd who may get bored. Remember to speak the “language” of your audience to help them better receive your content.
Know Your Material
Before the big day, take some time to rehearse. Sitting down and making a presentation is different from communicating the presentation in front of others. As mentioned above, too much text on your slides is not always the most effective—you should not be standing there reading off a screen. That is an easy way to lose people’s attention. While you don’t have to memorize your presentation, you will want to be familiar enough with the content that applies to each slide so you can speak on it as you click through. Think of your presentation as engaging in a conversation rather than just talking at your audience. Appropriate audience interaction makes a presentation come alive for everyone involved. Most importantly, have fun!
“Act enthusiastic, and you will be enthusiastic.” —Dale Carnegie