We all want to deliver a killer presentation. Yet, giving a compelling and memorable speech to a crowd can be difficult and challenging. Becoming a competent, rather than just confident, speaker requires a lot of practice to deliver a killer presentation. However, here are few tips on how to give a presentation your audience will pay attention to, engage in, and remember.
Tips for Delivering a Killer Presentation
Research your audience and get to know them
If you want to influence your audience, you need to know what they care about and what motivates them so that you can deliver a killer presentation. Take the time to learn about the people you will be speaking to and customize your presentation for them. You are there to be of service, so be sure to ask plenty of questions about why they think your message is right for them — and exceed their expectations by being relevant.
Practice like crazy
We all know the saying “Practice Makes Perfect.” This applies here as well. To deliver a killer presentation, you need to practice, rehearse, and practice all over again. This will make you more competent and confident when you approach your audience. You will gain your audience trust and attention when you show your confidence.
Don’t try to imitate the tone, and hand gestures of someone else who is considered a great speaker. That will require acting, in addition to remembering your speech and connecting with your audience. It’s a great idea to refer to other people’s experiences to prove your point if it will help connect with people, but make how you tell that story your own. Audiences like authenticity, and you will do better if your primary focus is on being “you.”
Start with a story that is worth hearing
Your opening story should be one everyone in the room can relate to. You have to know it! Everyone has a great story inside of them, and yours is just as worthy as anyone else’s. It’s the delivery that makes a speaker great or not so great. Once you believe what you are going to say, consider what aspects will be most relevant to your audience, and you can deliver with confidence. After all, great speakers know how to use a story to create an emotional connection between ideas for the audience.
Create a flow to your presentation
On a practical note, try to create a flow to your presentation so that you start strong, end strong, and have varying levels of intensity throughout the middle. Like any good story you want to take the listener on a journey, and if your presentation is all hard facts, or nothing but jokes, you will either put your audience to sleep or leave them having offered little of substance. Be sure your story follows all the other great stories — be sure that it has a balanced flow.
Make eye contact
Match eye contact with everyone in the room. You can’t persuade someone if you’re not looking him or her in the eye. Just make sure to scan the room without staring at any individual for too long.
To deliver a killer presentation, your speeches should be entertaining and informative. I’m not saying you should act like a dancing monkey when giving a serious presentation. But unlike an e-mail or article, people expect some appeal to their emotions. Simply reciting dry facts without any passion or humor will make people less likely to pay attention, or sometimes fall asleep!
Reiterate your main message three times
Professional communicators put it this way, “Tell them what you’re going to tell them. Tell them. Then tell them what you told them.” In other words, introduce the points you will be making, and then spend the meat of your presentation fleshing them out. Conclude by reminding the audience about your points. By this you guarantee that the message went through and you delivered a killer presentation.
Use a good closing story
It should be one that relates directly to your message and allows you to reiterate your main points. Less is more when it comes to closing, so keep your story succinct while being authentic. Essentially, your closing story should be close to your heart while summarizing your message. Remember that you are not there to sell your message; you are there to share your story. If you want your audience to remember your message, you have to make them “feel something.” We are inclined to listen closely to, and take a liking to, the people with whom we experience a connection, so make the goal of your presentation not to show what you know, but to share what you have in common with others.
There is plenty of advice available about little techniques that help you present better, but to me, a great speaker is someone who can consistently connect with the audience. The best and fastest route to achieving this is by allowing others to see themselves in you. So be yourself, believe in the power of your story, and strive to connect with your audience, and you’ll be well on your way to delivering killer presentations.
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