Public Speaking has gone beyond just putting yourself on stage, dressing nicely, and opening your mouth.
It involves being irresistibly convincing. The moment you step on stage, you’re consciously/subconsciously seen as an authority in your space.
It would be a disaster to NOT meet expectations. Thus, here are some tips to keep your presentation valuable and memorable :
1. Know Your Topic
According to Larry King in his book; How To Talk To Anyone Anytime Anywhere, the first rule of public speaking or presentation is to talk about what you know. This goes beyond the half-baked research.
You have to know what you’re talking about to a very significant degree.
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Your presentation would be far more believable if you know exactly what you’re talking about compared to some random research about something you know almost nothing about.
2. Practice! Practice! Practice!
Even when you know your subject inside out, you still have to rehearse over and over again.
The ideal public speaker spends hours going through his/her presentation while paying attention to details.
Paying attention to your tonality, facial expressions, the duration of your presentation (very important), gestures and even your body posture.
This is the art of every great performer on the planet NOT just the public speakers. Practice! Practice! Practice!
3. Lay Out Your Intentions In The First 60 Seconds
According to a study from Microsoft, the average attention span of a random human being is eight seconds.
Thus, you have eight seconds or even less to grasp your audience’s attention. The early stages of your presentation is where the gold is.
You fail at grasping your audience’s attention in the first 60 seconds, you lost the entire deal.
As soon as you get on stage, let your audience know what you’ll be talking about, what they’ll gain from listening to you and why they should listen to you.
Strike the metal while it is hot.
4. Exude Conviction NOT Confidence
A lot of lectures around being confident on stage but that won’t separate you from the pack. Take the game to another level – Conviction.
Confidence implies that you have a firm belief in something. Conviction denotes that you’re wholly convinced about something.
Confidence is just like a jersey, very easy to wear before you get on stage. Conviction is something you wear on and off stage.
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Separate yourself from the other speakers. Embrace conviction. Your audience can spot the difference.
5. Close BIG
The ending is just as important as the beginning. At this stage, your audience is hooked, you don’t want to close or end your presentation in a meek way, you want to make it memorable.
In fact, you want a standing ovation without forcing it. How you end your presentation has a major role in that.
You want to leave your audience ignited, wowed, inspired and get them to talk about you when going home – Free advertisement. Moreover, your close is going to determine if you are going to get another speaking gig or not.
As a rule of thumb – Never leave the stage in a boring manner. Just as you came on stage excited, you want to leave with even more excitement because your audience will mirror your vibration.
This is why the second tip (Practice! Practice! Practice!) shared earlier should not be taken lightly.
Your audience might not remember the body of your presentation but they’re very likely to remember the opening and the close – depends on how tight you keep it. You want to hit your audience with a heavy close.
You could end things with a rhetorical question, powerful quote or wise saying. In conclusion, the core rule of public speaking remains the same – “Be phenomenal or be forgotten”.
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