Public speaking is a tough job. Creating effective presentations is even tougher.
Here are a few pointers for public speaking and creating effective presentations:
Understand the audience
Determine who your audience is and how familiar they are with the subject matter. Anticipate what your audience expects to learn from you. Plan your agenda according to the audience’s ability to understand your subject.
Determine your goal
Decide and tell your audience the purpose of your presentation during the opening and closing remarks. Let them know if your intention is to inform them, persuade them, build a relationship with them, or if you are requesting for them to take action.
Know the subject matter
Your audience expects you to be an established expert based on your research, knowledge and experience. Make sure you know and understand the subject you are presenting. Then practice, practice, practice!
Be prepared, be confident
When you’re prepared, you feel confident and it shows. Know why you are presenting, who the audience is, what they expect to learn from you, and how you can prepare to give them what they want.
Plan your presentation
Develop an outline you can follow without reading it word for word. List the main points in order of priority. Cover the most important topic first while you have your audience’s undivided attention. Use language and visuals that are relevant to your presentation. Include an opportunity for audience interaction to keep their brains alive and interested in what you have to share.
Practice, practice, practice
Your goal is to stimulate your audience and gain their support on your subject. Practice your presentation using a mirror, a tape recorder, a friend, or anything you can to make sure your points clear and that you are presenting with passion.
Allow ample time for Q & A
Allow your audience time to ask questions and be prepared to answer them efficiently and intelligently. Consider what some of the more commonly asked questions may be, and either include the answers in your initial presentation, or be prepared with an educated response. Always answer questions by first stating the question so the entire audience knows what was asked.
Leave your audience with a summary of the message you just delivered. Tell them what you told them and make your request to have them buy, join, believe, and understand what you wanted them to do as a result of your presentation.