Presenting in front of colleagues, prospects or customers can be very difficult if not terrifying. But it does not have to be. As a Toastmaster for 18 months now, I am continually looking for ways to improve my presentations.
It is a work in process, and thankfully each time I get up in front of an audience is a step in the right direction.
Here are five things that I focus on each time I present:
- Preparation – I know; sounds crazy but it really does make a difference! Practice ahead of time and make sure audio-visual equipment is working before you start
- Timing and organization – Be respectful of people’s busy schedules and don’t go over time. Always have a question and answer period near the end, but close with your own summary
- Less is more – NEVER put too much information on a PowerPoint slide. Information overload tunes people out!
- What is your value – Smile often, be engaging and limit dead air. These speeches tend to get monotonous and boring. Stand out!
- Information gathering – Have a sign in sheet. This is a great way to confirm contact information and follow-up at a later date
If you want specific information on any aspect of public speaking, stop by http://www.toastmasters.org and check out the library of resources!