We can always improve our communication – always! And more specifically, we can always improve the presentations we have the chance to give. No matter your skill or comfort level, the following are ten ways I frequently share that can immediately enhance your speech:
- Distinction. There is something about you that makes you different from others. You are bold or italic, but never ordinary. Your passion and energy are contagious. This requires confidence and the ability to be comfortable with who you really are. If you allow yourself to be that individual, you’ll get others’ attention.
- It’s Not About You. Replace your ego with empathy and shift the focus from “I” to “you.” Doing this will help you develop topics and approaches that consider the audiences and their concerns. Being aware of those you are presenting to will help you craft a narrative that will properly educate, inspire, and motivate those individuals to action.
- Easy to Follow. Remember, a simple and concise approach will always trump a complicated and confusing message – every time.
- Situational Awareness. Being a speaker requires adaptability. Be willing and able to read your audience and know when to dial the energy up, dial it down and/or dial it off! Being able to adjust easily to unexpected changes is necessary. Sound overwhelming? It doesn’t need to be – if you enter your presentation feeling confident about the subject matter, you’ll be able to navigate successfully while perceiving the real-time needs of your audience.
- A Picture is Worth 1,000 Words. Fifty percent of your presentation’s impact is visual. Your colorful, well-designed images convey positive feelings that stay in the hearts and minds of your audience. Make sure you incorporate this essential piece of the experience!
- Be Poetic. Don’t worry, no need to go Shakespeare. However, choose the right words, at the right time, in the right order and it will be poetic to your audience. So much of this has to do with feeling sincere passion and interest in what you are talking about.
- Confident and At Ease. Feeling particularly anxious about an upcoming presentation? Channel that nervous energy to deliver an exciting and compelling speech.
- Look and Sound. Dress for the occasion and use hands, eye contact, and body language to communicate effectively. With not “ums” and “likes,” you minimize distractions. You give each listener the feeling of personal, one-to-one communication.
- You Care. Give your audience opportunities to register their opinions, pause for questions, and show appreciation for their engagement. Help them to consider something that resonates long after your speech is over.
- Call to Action. Focus on instructing and inspiring the audience in such a way as to provoke a reaction. Given the value you’ll add to their lives, you’ll leave them feeling as if they want to be a part of your community.
If you integrate these different approaches into your next presentation and throughout your preparation, you’ll undoubtedly have a successful experience. To learn more about how prepared you are as a great communicator, take my public speaking assessment at www.aclimbtothetop.com.