Make yourself count before your words
Now that you have been bestowed with a chance to talk , make sure you make it count. without much adieu lets begin .
- Practice in front of mirror :Practice makes man perfect. This is the oldest tip in public speaking and is still one of the best things you can do to improve your presentation style. “Mirror mirror on the wall , who is the fairest of all” said Cinderella’s step mother to her magic mirror.
- Mirrors Help You See What you Look Like: Your body language, your tone and appearance suggests whether you are angry or happy, nervous or enjoying while presenting .Alternatively you could video tape yourself with the help of a friend and check.
- Mirrors help you smile: Having a friendly approach while presenting is very important and for that you need to smile. Smile naturally or unnaturally to connect with your audience. Ask yourself ,”Would you sit through a presentation where the presenter looks strict or never smiles” Smiling shows that you are passionate about your subject and builds trust.
- Mirrors help you make eye contact: When you can look at yourself and talk, you can look at your audience too. To make this easier imagine known faces in the audience and speak naturally as if you are talking to them. This reduces the fear of the unknown and as the talk progresses, the fear vanishes. Looking at the audience in the eye establishes trust and makes sure you get the right attention at all times.
- Dress code and posture: Stick to black, grey, or navy blue business suits, for both men and women. And although it’s not necessary for your clothes to be designer wear, always make sure that they are of high quality, well-tailored, and (more importantly) clean. Always stay away from denim and excessively loud prints and colours. Choose simple cuts and solid colors.Since you will be on your feet most of the time, women should also avoid wearing high heels. Men should trim their hair and beard, or make sure they are clean-shaven. Women should also tie their hair up in a ponytail or a bun to keep it out of their face. Lesser the distraction the better it is. As far as the posture is concerned make sure you stand straight never with your hands folded in front. Do not lean or touch your face or fiddle with your hair. Instead of being formal , try making it informal for a greater impact.
- Arrive early at the venue: Check the venue making sure things are comfortable. The air conditioning should be at a pleasing temperature and lighting adequate. Make sure that there is no technical glitch. Get comfortable with the sound settings and the pitch of your voice. Screen should be placed correctly with proper display settings making it readable. Connect your laptop and equip yourself with the remote used for changing slides during the presentation. Arrange tables as per your requirement giving you enough space to move around. Make sure there is water for each along with a notepad and pen for people to take notes if required. It make you look organized and precise. Arriving early gives you piece of mind and avoids being late due to traffic and other unforeseen incidents.
- Know your audience: Arriving early allows you to engage with the audience before the presentation to gather their expectations. It serves as an ice breaker, which guarantee attention and happy feedback. Understanding your audience gives you an idea about them and hence enables you to tailor your presentation according to their interests.
- Be confident: Remember your three confidence traits and say them loud before entering. Often what we look in others as confidence traits are those what we lack in ourselves. Please read my post titled “understanding your pain points and be confident “ to be confident now. Meditate a few minutes to calm your senses, take a few deep breaths. you may even listen to your favorite music to boost you up and relieve your stress.
- Scan before you speak: look at your audience eye to eye making a “Z” or sign of infinity to grab attention . This allows time to settle down and makes sure every word you utter counts. Make sure you go slowly allowing time to look at each one.
- Drink water and stay hydrated : Delivering a presentation involves talking and moving around to connect with the audience. Make sure you keep yourself hydrated and keep a glass of water handy. Having adequate water also reduces stress. Make sure you visit the rest room and relieve yourself before going on stage/room. Also silent your phone and keep it out of sight or switch it off. Stay away from food that make you bloat.
- Remember the audience will not harm you, they are there to learn from you: They are not wild animals ready to pounce at the prey. So there is no need to shied away. When something unexpected happens or you make a mistake, acknowledge it with grace and humor. And you are reminded that the goal is communication, not perfection, since perfection is unrealistic and unnecessary.
- BBM : Training your brain , breathing and mind can be tricky but not difficult. Exercise to keep your brain stable and happy , breath slowly and deeply to release any tension in the body and direct your mind to attract positivity. You are what you think . Imagine yourself presenting to a large crowd confident and happy. Imagine getting applauded at remarks you make and believe me it will follow suit. Attract confidence , positivity and humour and your thoughts will work wonders for you .To know more on this go to my blog titled “BBM is the new BMW” now.
- Be Grateful : Gratitude is the magic word. Practice gratitude and be grateful for the opportunitygifted to you. Being grateful before hand to your audience , venue , sound system and coordinators enables a smoother presentation. How? because gratitude makes that work for you. Don’t just be thankful be grateful, why ? Read my blog on gratitude to know why I propagate this so much.
Congratulations you are now prepared to face the audience. You are brimming with confidence and have mastered the art of public speaking. Now to make your presentation impactful , you must deliver answers to relevant fears and talk on a topic capable of drawing attention from your listeners. Let’s leave this for my next post.
Until then stay tuned and keep presenting .
Happiness and sunshine