Presenting with confidence…
There is an actor in all of us!
You may find the title strange…Surely the whole point is about being authentic, genuine and sincere! Well of course, but you can also be an actor when you first start either presenting to an audience and/or when speaking in public. Let me explain…
Being nervous is quite natural: It shows you care. The more you present, the more accomplished and confident you will become! In the early stages, as you get up and walk to the front in readiness to present, forget this is you…Just picture yourself as an actor, and act the part…Its not you…Just act the part as if you were a leading speaker! This technique often helps, until the acting gradually becomes you as you become more experienced!
Getting your breathing under control is also important. Even before the day of your presentation, practice deep breathing and relaxation techniques. A lot of content can be found on the internet. The point of practice means that come your big day that you can employ the relaxation techniques with confidence and leading up to the presentation.
Timing counts for much. Timing creates impact…Walk with confidence, and smile to the audience. Hold the moment. Wait for a few seconds. Relax…Don’t rush. Introduce yourself, speak slowly and pause. When nervous, we rush our talk…Be clear, concise and relaxed!
Always remember, that the audience is willing you to succeed. They want you to enjoy and will appreciate the fact that you are presenting to them in the first place! Even accomplished speakers slip up on the odd word or slide. Ironically, few people in the audience, will even notice…Truly!
When using slides, always remember that more is less! They should only be bullet points that summarise the various parts to your presentation. Don’t have too much information on slides. Bullets can be useful as prompts for you, but no more. You are presenting to the audience and not reading from the screen. Pictures can add to slides and break up the text.
Preparation is very important. Preparation builds confidence and helps you to focus on the audience generating rapport and not a “tell session”. Use certain pictures as triggers…Prompts to help you to remember the point/s that you need to cover.
Involve the audience, it’s just fine to ask questions. One way is to cover in bullet form, the points that you intend talking about and tell the audience right at the start…The simple question “How does that sound to you”, will usually elicit smiles and nods…You have started with the audience on board
Enjoy the experience, in no time you will be presenting with confidence!
“No one ever complains about a speech being too short!” – Ira Hayes