If you have ever been asked to speak in front of a group, you likely know the fear that experience can bring on. Whether public speaking or making a presentation, you want to craft a meaningful message and deliver it to create results for your audience.
Here are some strategies and tips for a powerful presentation that will impact your listeners.
- PREPARE. Hone your communication skills. Presentations involve all areas of communicating beyond just speaking – listening and effective questioning play a role.
- PLAN. Start with the end in mind. What message do you want the audience to leave with then draft your closing lines to hammer home that takeaway. From there, work your way backwards ensuring everything ties to that objective.
- PEOPLE. Know Your Audience.
- PRACTICE. Rehearse, practice, rehearse.
- POLISH. Dress appropriately and manage your body language.
- PLACE. Arrive early to set up the room, test equipment and greet people as they enter.
- PLANT the first question. Some presenters are nervous about question periods so a good strategy is to start with your own by saying, “one question that I’m often asked is….” This builds your confidence starting with one that you can easily answer. If you get ‘tripped up’ on a question, ask the audience if they’ve had that experience and can make a suggestion. If all else fails, offer to get back to the group later.
Last but not least, feel confident that you are standing in front of the group because you are the expert!
Cathy Goddard is the Principal of Lighthouse Visionary Strategies, a consulting firm dedicated to tangible solutions for small business and individuals alike. With expertise in business and strategic planning, mentorship networks and workshop facilitation, Cathy also delivers powerful keynote presentations and writes a weekly business column for the Whistler Question newspaper.