Wouldn’t you expect, since so many individuals give numerous speeches and presentations, that there would be higher quality, better, more relevant ones, than what we often witness? In my over three decades of giving public speeches and presentations, I have nearly always begun, by stating, “Others might say to sit back, relax and enjoy. However, I want you to focus, learn, and feel, that after our time together, you’re convinced it was time well spent.” What good is any public speaking, until, and unless, it leads others to care more, get more involved, and make some degree of personal changes, for the better? If you are going to speak, here are my suggestions for giving the most motivating, effective presentation, using these key, eight steps.
1. Know your audience: Do your homework, so you clearly know, and appreciate, who you are presenting to, and what their focus, needs and priorities might be. Begin with a connection that is relevant, inspiring, and useful, and you begin, at an advantage.
2. Preview at the onset: After your brief welcome and introduction, give the group a preview, or agenda, of what you are going to touch on. Let them know what your policy is regarding taking questions, i.e. will you take them throughout, or merely at specified times? Stick to these key points, and involve the group effectively, throughout.
3. Compelling introduction: What are you going to say, which might enhance some aspect of those attendees? Get right to it, in a compelling, meaningful, relevant and empathetic way! Make the entire process as interactive as possible, avoid being boring, observe the laws of body language (yours, as well as the group), etc. Every great speaker realizes that he only has one opportunity to make a first impression, so focus on getting them, from the onset!
4. Bullet points; interactive: Using visual aids, list the main crux of each point, and review them, carefully and to the satisfaction of others. Avoid the trap of believing that certain things can be glossed over, because they are obvious to you. What’s obvious to you, is often not so, to others? Know when something requires more time and attention, versus, others, which might need mentioning, but less emphasis!
5. Seek involvement/acknowledgment: Get the group involved proactively. The more interactive you can make it, the better. Obviously, this often depends on the size, type, demographics, etc, of the group, as well as the shape, etc, of the room. Consider your body language and optimize it, make eye contact, ask questions which elicit responses, etc. Acknowledge the groups, both as a group, as well as making contact directly with as many individuals as possible.
6. Use visual materials/aids: Whether you use a Power Point presentation, or other visual aids, using the combination of these materials, alongside your oral presentation, helps the process. Remember that some individuals are oral, while others are visual learners! Make as much contact as possible!
7. Slowly, clearly, but, with energy: Nearly everyone has a tendency to speak far more quickly, to a group, than they think they are! Consciously take your time, speak as clearly and effectively as possible, but maintain the highest level of energy, etc. Energize the group, and they will energize you, and make you more effective and compelling!
8. Make, and take time, for Questions and Answers: If you’ve done the job you hoped to, others will want even more information, etc. Appear, and be, truly approachable, and caring!
Giving a great presentation begins with your personal attitude and preparation! Use these eight steps to enhance your possibilities.