Dear SuN friends,
Today we would like to share with you an interesting article, written by Greg Oates, devoted to the nine useful presentation delivery methods that can help you keep the audience engaged, and deliver an effective presentation. Enjoy!
1. The 20-Minute Rule
If you don’t feel like you have your presentation squared away as much as you wish at the 20-minute mark before it’s time to speak, you’re not going to accomplish anything by cramming through it in your head at that point. It is too late for that. Actually, you’re just going to make things worse for yourself. At T-20 minutes before launch, put your materials away. By now you should know that you have something of value to share with the audience. Embrace that. Put away any doubts. You’re committed to this and you need to get your brain right. Put away any self-defeating doubts. You’re committed, so get your brain right!
2. Walk Up on Stage
It’s a big shock the first few times you get up in front of a large audience. All of those faces look a lot different from a podium than they do when you’re comfortably sitting among them. Definitely, do this. Go up on stage, or wherever you’re going to be speaking, 20 minutes before the live presentation. That will help lessen the initial shock when you walk up there for real. Get comfortable with the room when it’s empty. Make it your room. Just stand there for a few minutes and practice your first three opening sentences.
Also get comfortable with the remote and microphone. Is there a laptop on the lectern that you need to use? Do you have both a lectern mike and a remote mike? Do you know how to use them? If you’re going to be roaming around the room, do you know what speakers not to walk in front of to avoid annoying audio feedback?
3. Just Breathe
I started doing this before my third presentation and it’s made a ton of difference to help avoid the jitters. Around 10-15 minutes before speaking, walk outside the room where you can be alone for a few minutes. Focus on your breathing. Forget about the presentation content completely. If you’ve prepared well, it’s going to be there in your brain when you need it. The goal here is to get out of your head and relax your body. It’s a physiological shift. A live presentation is a live presentation, and you now need to start engaging with people, not just yourself. A great way to do that is by simply loosening up your body and slowing down your breathing. You’re human. Be human. Don’t be a walking, talking PowerPoint slide deck.
4. Walk Among the Audience
5. Own the Beginning
6. Connect With Your Audience
7. Conversation Versus Presentation
8. Avoid: Does Anyone Have Any Questions?
I’ve experienced more than a few times total silence after asking, “Does anyone have any questions?” Instead, I’ve noticed experienced speakers ask specific questions, especially ones that have answers that you think will make someone look interesting when they answer. I first learned that when Corbin Ball was giving a presentation at an MPI event, and he asked if anyone had used Airbnb during a convention. Another example, I was giving a presentation about the future of meetings, which included a section about the growth of interdisciplinary programming at popular events like South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin. So I asked if anyone had been to SXSW. One woman was happy to answer. She had insight that most of the rest of the audience didn’t. That was awesome, and you want as much of that as you can get.
9. Have a Little Fun With It
The best presenters look like they enjoy the process of public speaking. During your presentation, go off schedule. Stop. Change your body posture and connect with someone who’s really engaged with your presentation. Do or say something spontaneous to change up the rhythm and shift the overall tone. Just like you would in any conversation.
Stay tuned for more interesting SuN TOP lists every week!