One of many people’s greatest fears is that of public speaking. Some place it as high as an audit from the IRS or even death. Knowing a few tricks and techniques can help to make the process of making effective presentation that communicates one’s message clearly and effectively, while making the process of speaking in front of others much easier.
Before standing in front of an audience it is essential to know the subject. Research each nuance. Look up information and read reports concerning the subject matter. The more confident one is about the material being presented the easier it is to keep the audience’s attention and feel confident about the presentation.
It is just as important to know the audience. The presentation to a group of professionals in the field will differ greatly from a presentation to a sixth grade classroom on career day. Taking a little time for research can allow the presenter to know how to adapt his or her speech to make the most sense to the audience.
Presenters should also know their own limits as well. While it can help one to grow when pushing the limits, one must be cautious to avoid embarrassment or disaster. There are things that Billy Graham, George Carlin or Al Sharpton might say to an audience that the average presenter cannot get away with saying.
No matter how complex your presentation, it is important to have a single purpose or theme. Presenters should state the theme to themselves when developing the speech. Whether attempting to educate, entertain or sell a product, keep the purpose in mind.
Develop a script of what needs to be said. Some will develop their script using notes on 3×5 index cards. Others feel more confident with a manuscript of their speech. Regardless of the form of the script, it should include the opening, body, a summary statement and a closing.
Once the presenter has developed a script and researched his or her audience, it is time to choose effective visual aids. If one is making a short presentation to an audience of three or less, handout materials or a flip chart may be all that is needed. With larger audiences, the audio visuals may be more elaborate. Many individuals make effective use of whiteboard animation to get their point across in a memorable way. Others may choose to use overhead projectors or PowerPoint presentations of the information needed for the presentation.