The nerves, the preparation and the risk of a sea of blank, or worse still bored, faces - public speaking is one of most people's greatest fears. Mike Morrison offers some advice for first time presenters.
My top tips include:
1) Only talk about something for which you have passion or enthusiasm for.
2) Have a very clear goal of what success for your presentation will be like.
3) Use prompt cards. In the event of an emergency a full-blown script will not be of any help at all.
4) Rehearse your presentation out loud. Make sure you know precisely for how long your talk will last. Stick to the allocated time.
5) To help keep your nerves under control, take a few minutes out in a quiet place before your presentation.
6) As you stand to speak take in a deep breath. Take up your position - look at the audience, smile and start only when you are ready. (Half the battle is to look confident.)
7) Let the audience know that you're coming to the end of your presentation by saying something like, "So, to draw together the strings of my presentation I'd like to sum up by saying…"
8) Be yourself – use gestures if that is natural for you.
9) Before you do the presentation rehearse.
10) It is important to practice with a rehearsal.
11) Did I mention that you need to rehearse…. again.
Top do not’s:
1) Do not read from a script.
2) Do not expect to ‘wing it’ and have a good response.
3) Do not tell any jokes (unless you have survived open mike night at the comedy club).
A great little book you can use as a 'take away' is Perfect Communications by Andrew Leigh and Michael Maynard.
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