Top 10 Tips for Presenting with Impact
1. Plan for success by deciding first what you want your audience to KNOW, FEEL and DO. This will dictate the content and style of your presentation.
2. If you suffer from nerves, make sure you do a short vocal warm up before you present, and always include breathing in that - keep it low and let your body relax as you breathe out.
3. Think about the space you will be presenting in - go and see it beforehand if you can - and imagine the presentation going well - this will also relax you and help you deal better with adversity on the day.
4. While you are waiting to go on, think about the best place to stand in the room in relation to the screen and the audience. Look for trip hazards and where you will be blocking the projector light or people’s view of the screen. If you are on after other presenters, don’t be buried in your notes - watch them and see what they are doing well and badly - this will give you a huge advantage. If possible, always elect to go on after someone else for this reason.
5. Don’t forget that you start presenting from the minute you leave your chair - once your name is announced, all eyes are on you, so no fidgeting/reading notes as you go up to the front!
6. Plan for an impactful start - don’t warm up into it. Stories ALWAYS work, in fact I would go as far as to say that you should never stand up without a story. You can pick something that happened yesterday and make a point out of it, or just use it to break the ice.
7. Use interaction early on to warm up the audience and gauge their reaction - people love joining in. Even if it’s just asking them to raise their hands or repeat something after you. It keeps them awake! It’s good to have things up your sleeve to do later if you feel like you are flagging.
8. Speak more slowly than normal speech - presenting is a heightened form of communication - and the larger the audience the more this becomes the case. Speed up when telling stories or when you want to seem like you are “off notes”
9. Use stillness to emphasise your messages - both in pauses and by standing still for important points.
10. Stick to the rule of 3 if you want to create something memorable: “Education, education, education” and “A mars a day helps you work, rest and play” have survived for a generation.
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Celia Delaney, Director, Delaney & Hart Limited
Celia is a sought-after speaker who regularly speaks and trains at conferences, seminars and award ceremonies worldwide. She has experience of presenting to board level in large organisations, as well as pitching for business at SME level. Her courses are always relaxed, informal & fun but with a wealth of information that comes from both her corporate experience and her training as an actress.