10 Jul How to Give a WOW Presentation
When it comes to giving the best presentation of your life, here are my steps to success.
- Understand your audience. This will enable you to craft your message to speak directly to them.
- Prepare for the presentation by practicing your delivery. Even if you’re speaking on a topic you know inside out, never be overconfident – always practice. Whether you’re doing so in front of friends or in front of the mirror, you want to take time to practice.
- Watch your tone. I find that it’s best to record yourself that way you can focus on paying attention to your tone, your body language, even how you work the stage. These are all little nuisances you want to be aware of before the big day.
- Be prepared for something to go wrong. This is especially true if you have a high-tech presentation. Ask yourself, how can I do this without my PowerPoint? Be ready to deliver your speech without a hitch if something doesn’t work correctly with your presentation.
- Get in the right frame of mind. You want to be engaging, energetic (without being too over the top), but you also want to keep your energy level high through the presentation. Whether you need to meditate for a few minutes before hitting the stage, repeating an affirmation in your head, or even jumping in place – just be ready to come with it!
- Frame the presentation. You can do this by highlighting what the audience will hear or learn during the talk. This helps the audience settle in and stay focused on what is coming ahead.
- Don’t talk down to the audience. Rather than approaching this as you giving a speech, instead, think of it as you holding a conversation with a group on a particular topic. Use words like “you” instead of “you all” or “us” rather than “the audience”. The idea is you want the audience to feel like you are talking to them individually.
- Define your outcome. Think about what you want your audience to do or take away from the presentation. Do you want them to reach out for more information, visit your website, buy a book, be inspired to do something else? Whatever it is be clear with yourself and be clear in your call to action throughout and at the end of your presentation.
- Repeat what you’ve shared. Having the last few minutes be dedicated to you recapping what you shared is helpful to bring them back to your desired outcome. Ask questions of the audience, even if they are rhetorical. Find ways to engage the audience in the content that was shared to also gauge their level of understanding.
It is always good practice to solicit feedback from the event organizer to better understand how they felt the speech went. Having these nuggets of information will only make you a more effective communicator.