If you have ever been asked to speak in front of a group, then you know how nerve-wracking it can be. The thought of getting up in front of your peers and potentially failing or not looking good is something that none of us want to experience.
Public speaking is something everyone has to face in his or her life time, especially if you want to get ahead. No matter whether you have to speak in front of your co-workers or your entire industry at a business conference, you are going to need to be able to deliver your presentation with confidence.
Here are four things you should consider if you have been asked to speak in front of a group:
Preparation is one of the most important aspects of speaking in public. While some might assume that all you have to do is memorize your lecture, this is not the only thing you must do to get yourself ready.
“You are going to need to practice giving your talk so that you can make sure that the entire presentation is flawless” says Dan Smith of KeynoteSpeakers.info. “You want to make sure that when you talk in front of a group, you have worked through all of your transitions so that there is no odd pauses or breaks that can make you sound unprofessional or unprepared.”
Outline your speech
Rather then writing out your entire speech word for word, create an outline with bullet points. “One of the biggest mistakes I see people do is that they try and memorize their entire talk rather than just remembering the key points and going over them in a natural way” says John Rogan of MotivationalSpeakerz.com. “When you are standing in front of a group of people, they should feel like you are talking to them and not reciting a document word for word. This will make you seem less authentic.”
Have A Strong Beginning
One thing that needs to be emphasized here is that the beginning of the speech is the most important part. If you lose your audience there then you will not be able to pull them back.
Make sure that you have something at the beginning of your speech which grabs your listeners’ attention. It can be something very simple such as a story or a question that creates intrigue. You could also try using video among other things, just be creative.
Once you have hooked your listeners it will be a lot easier to make them listen to you and to achieve the results you want to achieve. Remember that many of these people are meeting you for the first time and so they need to buy in to the idea of giving you their undivided attention. Otherwise they will just glance over to their smartphone waiting for you to finish.
A backup plan is important especially if you rely heavily on technology such as Powerpoint or other things. If there is an overhead projector available then make sure to copy your presentation (or only the important parts of it) onto a transparency. It will be worth it when something stops working.
Also, if you prepare yourself well then it should be easy for you to still hold a great presentation even though something might stop working. The goal here is that by having a backup plan, your speech continues uninterrupted and the flow will still come off seamless. Remember, none of the attendees know what to expect so if you have to pivot and adjust, its fine.
In conclusion, make sure that you take the time to prepare yourself, outline your speech so that you speak naturally, have a strong beginning so you grab their attention, and have a backup plan so that no matter what happens, your presentation will look flawless.
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