Ten Tips to Nail your Next Speech or Presentation

You have an upcoming speech or presentation and you’re feeling unprepared, nervous, or perhaps so overwhelmed that you’re not sure where to start.

Public speaking, whether it’s a presentation, leading a workshop, or preparing a keynote, does not have to be a distressing experience. As you gain more experience, you’ll find what works for you. Here are ten tips to build into your speaking experiences so that you and your audience both win!

As you gain more experience, you’ll figure out what works best for you.

  1. Have a clear outline of key concepts or points you want to communicate.
  2. Prepare those key points in a format of 3-5 main points and no more than 3 sub-points for each main point.
  3. Have visuals that complement the content, but don’t have every word of your point in view. For example: Use an image that illustrates your point, rather than a graphic with your point written out beside it.
  4. Try and see the physical space where you will present in advance.
  5. Walk around the physical space of where you’ll present – the ENTIRE room – so that you can visualise how each person will receive the information you are sharing.
  6. Visualise yourself standing and presenting successfully. Visualise yourself as an audience member receiving your presentation.
  7. Speak your speech or presentation out loud for several days or weeks (depending on the stakes) in advance of the speech or presentation.
  8. Record yourself speaking the speech and listen back on it. Note how you feel at certain points. Note what needs to be changed in the content vs. the delivery and note what may simply be your discomfort with how you sound.
  9. When presenting, create a balance between focusing on the audience, and being mindful of what you are sharing with them. DO NOT focus on your notes or the floor – you are losing connection with your audience when this happens.
  10. Practice your speech or presentation with trusted friends, colleagues, or other professionals. Everyone prepares differently, but your key points should be memorised and your subpoints should flow naturally from your key points. It takes practice to do this with ease and grace.

Jen Lang, Your Voice and Communications Coach

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