Public speaking training: Provide your own introduction. Ensure a proper introduction by writing your intro. Too many speakers simply hand the host a thick bio or multi-page résumé. The person has to sift through all that material–on the spot–to get to the relevant information. Worse, the person reads all of it, wasting valuable time and … Read more
Follow these suggestions to help you deliver an effective presentation
A conference I attended recently included six very informative presentations. Overall, the quality of the material was very good. However, I witnessed a number of common presentation gaffes. Keep these tips in mind the next time you step in front of an audience.
1. Test the microphone. Make sure you know the microphone’s working range. Speak louder, and/or stay close to the microphone. Use a lapel mic if you can. They’re closer to your face naturally, and allow you to move around. (And for handheld units, keep the mic close to your mouth. Don’t worry: it won’t bite you.)
Make sure your audience can hear you well before you begin. It’s better to be too loud than too soft.
2. Repeat questions posed by audience members. This is especially true if speaking in a large room. People in the back can’t hear the question that’s posed by someone up front. Just say, “The question is,….”, then answer it.
It had to happen eventually. Until then I had no problems with my presentations; all came off without a hitch. As one who gives presentations frequently and who aspires to be a professional speaker, I know that I will experience a meltdown someday. That someday was this past Wednesday evening during a webinar I was hosting. Even though I trained myself for such an event, it still proved to be a challenging but instructional experience. It prompted me to put together some thoughts on how to give a presentation when disaster strikes.
The best time to plan for any disaster, of course, is during the quiet times. Now is the time to review the steps to take in the event you suffer a disaster during a business presentation. Play these steps over in your mind – visualize them – repeatedly. That will help ensure that when the inevitable occurs, you respond pretty much to script. You can expect some anxiety – the shock of the incident really hits you – but you can minimize its effects through proper response.
1. Maintain your composure. When something significant occurs – say, your computer crashes (like mine did) or the projector dies – it is a shock to your system. Part of you wants to panic. You realize the significance of what has happened and envision your presentation collapsing. It’s an embarrassing and humiliating moment. You are the presenter, after all, and those people are counting on you.