Communicating your ideas clearly and presenting them openly in a public can sound scary to many people. Sometimes there are something that stands between you and your audiences which is FEAR. The fear of public speaking is one of the biggest fears that many people are experiencing. It is also known as ‘Glossophobia’. Nevertheless, the fear of public speaking is very common, and you are not the only one!
While some people experience a debilitating form of ‘Glossophobia’, even a mild form can have devastating effects. Fear of public speaking can prevent you from taking risks to share your ideas, to speak about your work, and to present your solutions to problems that affect many people. It can affect how much you grow personally and professionally, and how much impact you can have. In order to overcome Glossophobia, you need to find the roots to your fear. What are afraid of?
How to Be a Confident and Engaging Speaker?
Becoming a competent, rather than just confident, speaker requires a lot of practice. Here are a few tips you can consider to sharpening your presentation skills:
So, what is 10-20-30 Rule? This is a slideshow rule by Guy Kawasaki. To have an engaging and powerful presentation, we must have no longer than 10 PowerPoint slides. It should last no more than 20 minutes and it should have no text less than 30-point font. It will show a clear focus on your presentation and it can engage your audiences better.
Be entertaining and fun
Come on, it is not about dancing in front of the audiences! Adding in some humour in your presentation can attract your audiences’ attention. However, the presentation should still be in appropriate context as it will affect your own reputation as well as your company’s image.
Slow down and make eye contact
As much as you are rushing to complete the presentation, you must not speak too fast. You need to always remember that by speaking slow, you can bring your ideas across clearly – Your audiences can then understand you better! Beside speaking slow, you need to make eye contact with the audiences as well.
Project your voice
Do not mumble to yourself! Speak up and let the audiences hear you. Projecting your voice doesn’t mean yelling, rather standing up straight and letting your voice resonate on the air in your lungs rather than in the throat to produce a clearer sound.
Do not plan gestures
Any gestures you use need to be an extension of your message and any emotions that message conveys. Planned gestures look false because they don’t match your other involuntary body cues. You are better off keeping your hands to your side.
Do not apologise
Apologies are only useful if you’ve done something wrong. Don’t use them to excuse incompetence or humble yourself in front of an audience. Don’t apologize for your nervousness or a lack of preparation time. Most audience members can’t detect your anxiety, so don’t draw attention to it.
How to Improve Your Presentation Skills to Make It Engaging in 3 Phrases
The entire process of effectively delivering a presentation can be divided into following 3 phases:
1. Planning the presentation
- It is very important to do the necessary ground work before even we start designing the presentation.
- It is important to clearly define the objectives of the presentation. What are the end messages we are looking at conveying to the audience and what results a successful presentation will lead to.
- We must understand the background of the audience upfront. We also need to clearly understand their expectations from the presentation.
- What are the messages we need to convey to the audience and the priority of the messages
- We also need to be very clear about how the presentation will benefit the audience
- Plan and define the expected take-away for the audience
- Decide the tone of the presentation whether it is informative, inspirational, motivational or educational
2. Preparing the presentation
It is important to prepare an appealing presentation by aggregating the right content in the right format. We can make use of some of the presentation tools to make the presentation visually more impactful.
- Decide the content to be shown in the presentation. Decide additional supporting information that might need to be distributed for consumption by the audience
- Decide the right tools for making the presentation. PowerPoint is one of the most impactful presentation tools widely being used.
- Making use of visual charts and graphs will also enrich the presentation
- Number of slides in the presentation should be limited.
- There are many thumb rules for making presentation slides. Most important is not to have too much text on the slides. There should be mostly important bullet points on a slide
- Prepare the speech script for each slide to explain each point on the slide
- One of the most popular guidelines for making powerpoint presentation is the 10-20-30 rule, which says there should not be more than 10 slides, not taking more than 20 minutes to present and font size of text not less than 30.
- There is also a 7-7 rule which states that each slide should not have more than 7 lines of text and each line should not have more than 7 words
- Signpost the presentation by dividing it logically
3. Delivering the presentation
Delivering the presentation is the most important part of the whole process. This is the real work where you need to establish direct contact with the audience and deliver the presentation to them. This being a live and face-to-face process will involve huge amount of human emotions. It can cause immense anxiety to the presenter. One needs to keep the following points in mind while delivering the presentation.
- Rehearse the presentation with the prepared script very well many times before making the actual presentation
- Start the presentation in a positive and strong note.
- Maintain direct eye contact with the entire audience and make good use of your body language
- Use lot of real world examples which the audience can relate with. Also share personal experience to drive the practical aspect of the message. This will make the messages more relatable and easily acceptable by the audience
- It is normal for a speaker to feel nervous with a new audience. Hence it is necessary to create the initial connect with them. That will help to reduce the anxiety and help you become more comfortable.
- Use humour as appropriate depending upon the audience.
- Conclude your presentation with the key messages
- Make provision for some time for question answer session during the concluding part of the presentation
The Power of Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
In Aventis, we collaborate the use of Neuro-linguistic programming in enhancing and improving presentation skills. Neuro-linguistic programming is a way of changing someone’s thoughts and behaviours to help achieve desired outcomes for them. NLP uses perceptual, behavioral, and communication techniques to make it easier for people to change their thoughts and actions. For close to 45 years, Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP) has been proven as a consolidated system of the art and science of human excellence for success, helping countless individuals reach new heights in their personal and professional lives. Considering both the conscious and sub-conscious decision-making processes as well as the inner neurological motivations of people, the use of NLP techniques and strategies in business presentations have been proven to help presenters engage and connect with their audience more easily, thereby influencing them. Learn how you could finally overcome your nerves during presentations and become a more confident and competent presenter.