Although I consider myself a student of this art, people keep requesting me to share my experiences and techniques. So I decided to write this short help file.
There are 3 basic ways to learn this art:
Listen to seasoned speakers
Attend as many seminars of great speakers as possible. The subject spoken does not matter here, what you are learning is the “Technique of captivation”.
Read books and blogs
There are now lots of books on doing effective presentations and the web has countless pages on this. Read them.
Get out there as many times as you can and just do it. As they say, people only learn from faults as you gain experience from each presentation, you will learn from mistakes made and improve each time. Always carry plenty of plastic business cards
- Understand your audience – try to get before-hand, the profile and the mass of your audience. It is also a good idea to ask event organizers, what they consider as the key to success for the event.
- Prepare for the subject – know what you are speaking about!
- Before you start the presentation, try to get into the arena and spend few minutes familiarising yourself with it. This is to make yourself comfortable with the environment and ease any anxiety.
- Before you make your presentation if you get a chance to sit on the stage with other speakers, take the opportunity. Try to sweep the hall with your eyes and make eye contact with the audience. Don’t take the eye contact to the extreme and stare at one person for an inappropriate amount of time, you will make them nervous. Just do it for a second with one person and then keep moving. This can be a great way to boost your confidence.
- Start with a Joke or some interesting fact that is relevant and related to the day’s theme.
- Always Introduce yourself – You have organized this, you have put in the effort, and you deserve your limelight. Speak your name, loud & clear in a way you will like to hear it to being pronounced by others. Let the audience know your background especially relevant experience to today’s topic. Having said that, If the host already has introduced you, don’t repeat your details all over again. Always try to keep the introduction brief. Let the audience know that your plastic cards are available.
- Study the body language of your audience. Most of the time, if they are bored or if they think you are being fictitious, you can reveal this from their body language.
- Deliver your presentation in a clear voice, don’t mumble.
- During your presentation, don’t keep looking at your notebook or the screen all the time. Stand upright, make frequent eye contact with the audience. Sweep the hall (to all the edges) with your eyes.