Secrets of Successful Presentations

Does the thought of speaking in front of others send you running in the opposite direction? Youâ??re not alone. Many people avoid public speaking at all costs â?" and there is a cost. Public speaking is one of the quickest, most efficient ways to market yourself, your message, business, or cause. Those who are willing to make presentations immediately stand out from the majority who are not. Whether itâ??s an audience of five people or 500, itâ??s worth it to invest in your skills.

After coaching hundreds of clients in presentation skills, Iâ??m convinced that anyone can improve and gain confidence by following a few simple techniques:

Know Your Audience. Most presentations fail because the speaker never took the time to find out anything about his audience. Knowing your audience means finding out as much information as possible in advance so that you can successfully match your message to their interests and needs. Helpful information includes: gender breakdown, average age, and their current or past experience with your topic. If itâ??s not possible to learn your audience in advance, then at the very least, arrive early and spend a few minutes meeting people. Or, begin your presentation by asking some general questions like, â??Who has experience withâ?¦?â?? This also helps to calms nerves as you are taking the focus off you, and putting it on your audience where it belongs.

Forget Memorizing. One of the biggest fears Iâ??ve heard from my clients is that theyâ??ll freeze up and forget what comes next. That can happen if you try to memorize your entire speech. All it takes is forgetting one word to trip you up. Instead, only memorize the opening and closing. Looking directly at your audience when you start and finish makes a strong, positive impression. For the middle section, itâ??s fine to glance at note cards with bullet points, or refer to your PowerPoint presentation to jog your memory. Do not, however, write out your whole speech word for word! Youâ??ll be tempted to read it instead of connecting with your audience.

Open with a Bang. Itâ??s important to grab attention immediately. A good opening sparks interests, sets expectations, previews whatâ??s to come, and offers benefits. There are several ways to start: ask a question, tell a story, humor (careful with this one unless youâ??re naturally funny), quotes, dramatic statistics, or music/video. Give your audience a reason to listen, and build your credibility as the best person to be speaking on this topic.

Make it Memorable. Signposting is a way to help your audience follow and remember what youâ??re saying. Phrases that focus listening are: â??The point is this,â?? and â??The most important thing to remember is.â?? Another strategy is to number your points as in, â??Iâ??ll be offering three ideas, the first one isâ?¦â??

In Closing. Audiences are most likely to remember the last thing they hear. A strong closing should be memorized and review your main points. Motivate the audience to do something â?" take an action, ask a question, have an emotional response, or think differently. Make it clear what it is youâ??re asking them to do (and if you donâ??t know, re-think the purpose of your speech).

Calming Nervousness. Most nerves are caused when the speaker focuses on himself instead of the audience. A speaker might think to himself, â??What if I say something stupid?â?? or â??I hope I donâ??t trip.â?? That kind of self-absorption puts up a wall between you and the audience. By shifting your focus to the audience, youâ??ll forget about yourself and start connecting with them. Second, some nervousness is a good thing! Itâ??s an indication that you care what your audience thinks and can serve as a strong motivator to do well. The goal is not to eliminate nerves, but to use that energy in a positive way.

Susan Fee is a licensed counselor, communications expert, and author of Positive First Impressions: 83 Ways to Establish Confidence, Competence, and Trust (available through her Web site at http://www.susanfee.com). She specializes in coaching individuals in making successful presentations.

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Quest presentation to highlight project to preserve Kiowa language  oswegocountynewsnow.comOSWEGO — A SUNY Oswego faculty-student team is trying to help preserve a Native American language, Kiowa, with only about 10 fluent speakers remaining.
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Closing 2019/2020 Budget Debate Presentation by Dr. the Honourable Nigel Clarke  Government of Jamaica, Jamaica Information ServiceMr. Speaker, I once again thank the staff at the Ministry of Finance and the Public *Service* for their commitment and dedication to their jobs and for the excellence ...
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Upcoming: Lunch n' Learn wellness presentations, Thursday, March 28 and Tuesday, April 2  UWGBTwo wellness Lunch n' Learns will be taking place on Thursday, March 28, 2019 and Tuesday, April 2, 2019. For both Lunch n' Learns, RSVP by emailing ...
Inside the 2019 Jonathan Larson Grant Presentation  Playbill.comThe American Theatre Wing honored the 2019 Jonathan Larson Grants recipients at the WYNC Greene Space March 18. The grants, named in honor of the late, ...
Huawei Enjoy 9S specs and photos leaked before the presentation  Gizchina.comLet's go back to Huawei Enjoy 9S, one of the smartphones that the Chinese manufacturer is going to launch on the market.
Review of 2018 goals, 2019 outlook in American Bank Center presentation to council  KRIS Corpus Christi NewsIt was just over a year ago that city council had concerns about how the American Bank Center was managed by SMG. That's after council members learned the ...
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Healthy eating is topic of presentation - News  Record-CourierKathy Wise, director of employee wellness at Summa Health, will lead a discussion on practical applications of healthy eating at 7 p.m. Thursday at the Kent Free ...
OUTDOORS: Wild steelhead review urged on West End, presentation set Friday in Forks  Peninsula Daily NewsA PRIVATE PUSH for an annual wild steelhead review on West End rivers will begin in earnest Friday with a presentation at the Olympic Natural Resource ...
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P. Allen Smith Presentation & Reception set for March 23  MyArkLaMissP. Allen Smith, America's best-known garden designer, will speak Saturday, March 23, 2019 at 1:30 pm at the Biedenharn Museum and Gardens.
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Vermilion High School to host presentation on dangers of sex trafficking  Chronicle TelegramVERMILION — Slavery still exists in America, even if it goes by a different name. Sex trafficking is a booming business and an insidious one, too, say experts and ...
Philoptochos and AHEPA New Rochelle Host Book Presentation  The National HeraldNEW ROCHELLE, NY – On Sunday, March 3, following services at Holy Trinity Church in New Rochelle, the Ladies Philoptochos Society and the James ...
Correvio Announces Presentation Of Brinavess® Data At The American College Of Cardiology 2019 Annual Meeting  PRNewswireData Will Also Be Presented at the Upcoming 23rd Israeli Congress for Emergency Medicine NASDAQ: CORV TSX: CORV VANCOUVER, March 20, 2019 ...
Patient safety focus of Dartmouth-Hitchcock presentation  WCAXLEBANON, N.H. (WCAX) Patient safety is front and center at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. The facility is highlighting high-risk areas of health care and ...
Tutwa Asks Speaker to Rule on Nkombo's 'Zesco' Letter Presentation in Parliament  Zambia ReportsPatriotic Front Deputy parliamentary Chief Whip Tutwa Ngulube has asked Speaker of the National Assembly Dr Patrick Matibini to make “a serious ruling” on ...
Chinese New Year presentation at the Bayside Council  St George and Sutherland Shire LeaderAustralian Sydney Southern Chinese Cultural and Entertainment Centre thanked for their entertainment extravaganza to welcome in the Year of the Pig.
This Guy Made A Presentation To Call Out His Teacher For Using The N-Word  BuzzFeed News"If the solution to getting your class to snap up is using the n-word, then you need different strategies."
Kalpataru Power Transmission Ltd. - Announcement under Regulation 30 (LODR)-Investor Presentation  The Hindu BusinessLineInvestors / Analyst Presentation - Acquisition of significant stake in Linjemontage i Grastorp AB, a Swedish EPC company Pdf Link: Kalpataru Power ...
Photo Coverage: Go Way Down Inside the HADESTOWN Press Presentation!  Broadway WorldLater this week, on March 22, Hadestown will begin preview performances at the Walter Kerr Theatre, ahead of a Wednesday, April 17 official opening night.

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