Public speaking is not everyone’s cup of tea. Unless you’re one of the few individuals who race to the front of the room whenever there’s an opportunity to present your ideas or findings, you probably dread the prospect of talking for prolonged periods in front of dozens or even hundreds of people.
Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to make yourself feel more at ease while also improving the quality of your presentation. Below are just a few tips to help you on your way to becoming the presenter everyone wants to speak at their events.
Know Your Facts, Not Your Slides
All too often, presenters forget the golden rule of giving an impressive speech. Your audience can read. People come to talks to learn and you can provide more valuable information by keeping your slides simple and wowing the audience with how much added information you tell them.
Anyone can read a slide to a room full of people. Fantastic presenters know to keep a sampling of pertinent information on their slides to reference as talking points. They then use those talking points to expand on those thoughts and give an engaging, informative presentation.
Authenticity is Important
It might seem like a good idea to copy the movements, speech patterns, and overall personality of successful presenters, but your audience will always be able to tell when you’re not being authentic. It’s important to develop your own style that fits your personality.
Everything that follows will feel much more natural and allow you to grow and progress without having to worry about whether or not you are doing exactly what another person would do. No two presenters are alike and that’s what makes conferences so much fun, seeing the different styles and personalities shining by remaining true to who they are.
Use Your Strengths to Your Advantage
If you find yourself cringing at the thought of presenting in a smaller venue where you have to make constant eye contact with the 10 other people in the room, maybe you haven’t found your ideal venue. It will take some time, but find the venues, presentation style, types of talks, and props (or none) that you prefer.
Know that the more comfortable you feel, the better your presentation will be. Pick and choose where, when, and how you give a presentation to cater to your strengths and where you feel most comfortable. Yes, getting out of your comfort zone is a great thing, but you are allowed to be picky about where to speak the majority of the time. Your presentations will only improve as a result.