Whether you’re giving a talk to a few people, or a few hundred, presentations and public speaking can be nerve-wracking. The pressure to give a great presentation can be overwhelming; however, it is not just inexperienced speakers that are at risk for giving a dull presentation. Even seasoned public speakers can give boring, uninspiring talks.
Whether you’re nervous for an upcoming talk, or you’re an experienced speaker looking to better connect with your audience, consider the following tips:
Know your material
No matter how much planning you put into ensuring your presentation runs smoothly, sometimes unforeseen issues can arise. Maybe you forget your cue cards at home, or perhaps you forgot to bring along your visual aids. By knowing your material inside and out, you can get through a presentation no matter what issues may arise. This will also help you nail the question period at the end of your talk.
If you’ve ever seen a truly captivating presentation, you may have noticed that the speaker made use of the entire stage. Sometimes you may be confined to a podium, but even by using simple hand gestures and eye contact effectively, you can significantly increase and maintain the attention of your audience.
Practice, practice, practice
This not only refers to a specific speech leading up to an event, but also your speaking skills in general. If you’re uncomfortable with presentations, becoming a strong communicator may seem like an insurmountable goal, but remember this: public speaking is a skill, and just like any other skill, you will get better with practice. Strong public speakers might make it look easy, but make no mistake, there’s a lot of work that has gone into that skill behind the scenes. If you’re looking to get some extra practice in a low-pressure environment, consider joining a speaking club like Toastmasters.
Tell a story
Another great way to keep your audience engaged is by telling a story, or keeping a common theme throughout your talk. Your audience needs some degree of uniformity throughout your speech. A sporadic, unconnected speech is hard to follow, and will greatly hinder engagement. By simply wrapping up your speech with a strong conclusion, and touching back on the key points of your talk, your audience will have a clear takeaway and (hopefully) feel like they learned something useful.
Use strong audio visual techniques
Making use of professional AV solutions can make a huge difference in the engagement and success of your presentation. Simple things like complimentary lighting, reliable computer and network services, and audience response tools can really set your presentation apart.
At Freeman Audio Visual, we provide audio visual solutions for events of any size. Whether you need a custom stage built for a large-scale event, or a computer network set up for a business meeting or workshop, we can help. Check out our design gallery for some photos of what we can offer you, and if you already have a project in mind, contact us. We look forward to helping you create a truly engaging event!