There are some strange folk who actually enjoy talking in front of an audience, public speaking heavyweights who have won awards for their speeches and feel most alive when they are standing in front of a crowd.
Even the most confident professionals get nervous and make mistakes once in a while, but they have found ways to use their fear to their advantage.
Whether you’re a keynote speaker looking to hone your skills or an intern about to present to your team, below are the top three ways you can deliver an awesome presentation every time.
Let's get personal
Personalization is key in any presentation. Even the nicest people won’t act until an issue affects them personally. Make the problem or idea relevant to them by explaining how it affects their community.
This is a great way to make complex ideas simple and to get your audience to care about your subject matter.
An example of this is Ellen Gustafson’s TED Talk on obesity and hunger. She made her story relatable to her audience by saying that she loves to eat and explained how obesity affects 1/3 of American children. This statement immediately brings attitudes towards health, nutrition and even agriculture into the spotlight while revealing how it affects our current and future generations.
It’s question time!
Starting your presentation with a question has the potential to probe the listener’s personal memories, sense of identity or general knowledge. Asking a question is an effective way of prompting your audience to that ‘aha!’ moment.
Rhetorical questions are great openers as you’re asking your audience to self-analyze right off the bat. This helps them to recognize a problem and come to a conclusion.
Kelly McGonigal began her presentation by asking her audience to raise their hand if they had experienced any kind of stress over the past year. Almost the whole audience responded and demonstrated how that one question grabbed their attention from the get go.
Once upon a time…
Inspiring empathy and understanding in your audience are incredible ways to engage. Start your presentation with one of the most effective communication tools – storytelling.
Telling a personal story may make us feel vulnerable, but it is an opportunity to show confidence and character. Explaining ideas in an accessible way will help synchronize the audience’s emotions with your own. Re-telling a story of someone you admire demonstrates your values while telling a customer’s story proves that you listen.
“I’ll never forget that day back in the spring of 2006” is how Peter Attia began his powerful story. He illustrated his point and expressed genuine emotion.
By incorporating these techniques into your next presentation you will captivate your audience’s attention and leave the room feeling like you made an impact.
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For more great tips on how to be an even better public speaker, download our ‘How to Nail Your Next Presentation’ eBook today!