As entrepreneurs, we need to give presentations regularly. We give sales presentations to potential clients. We deliver pitches to prospects.
Imagine you have to deliver a presentation tomorrow. There's no time for research. You know the topic well and you have an outline.
Don't worry. You can still deliver an effective presentation with confidence. Here are 10 public speaking tips you can apply immediately:
1. Open with a story
Stories help you engage the audience's emotions such as hope, love, fear, anger, and joy. When you engage the audience with emotions, they will resonate with what you say.
2. Support each point with a story or case study
Here are two types of stories that deliver your message effectively:
- Your Personal Experiences. What experience has changed your life? It could be "the biggest mistake I've had in my business" or "my first sales experience." Anything relates to mistakes you've made and your first-time work. These stories make you human.
- Client Case Studies. Think about the results you've helped clients get. To prove my ability to help business leaders succeed, I can share how I helped a nervous business leader deliver the message effectively and confidently and have the impact he want on the audience.
3. Summarize your key points
People remember your closing the best. To recall their memory, do a quick recap.
If my presentation is about inspiring action, I would summarize my points with, "How can we inspire people to take action? Number one, summarize your key points. Number two, have a clear call to action."
4. Have a clear call to action
No matter how great your presentation is, having no audience member take action is a waste of your time.
Your audience may not know what to do after your presentation. Give them a clear action step. The action step can be as simple as, "Go to XYZ.com and download my free report."
5. Practice your presentation with video
The worst time to evaluate your presentation is when you're giving it. Practice your presentation and record it in video. You can use a smartphone or webcam.
6. Watch the rehearsal video
Write down what you like and don't like about the presentation, especially body language and use of voice.
Watch the first three to five minutes of your video to get the big picture quickly. Also make sure you end strong.
7. Improve your presentation
Keep what you like and get rid of what you don't like. Like your high energy? Keep it. Hate your poor eye contact? Focus on improving your eye contact. Just speak to the audience like you're talking to friends.
8. Arrive early at the venue
Arrive 15 to 20 minutes early to where you'll deliver the presentation. Get comfortable with the stage, especially if you're never been there before.
Test your equipment. Make sure the computer and projector is working. If you are playing video, check the sound. For big audiences, use a microphone.
Practice your opening so you will gain more confidence and comfort.
9. Talk to your audience
Instead of presenting in front of a group of strangers, why not build relationships with your audience before speaking? You'll turn them from strangers into friends and feel more relaxed.
10. Be in the moment
Focusing on the audience is a proven method to improve confidence. Before stepping on stage, I focus on helping business leaders become successful and make a difference.
Remember, it's not about you; it's about the audience.
Apply these ten public speaking tips and you'll deliver the presentation effectively and confidently.
This article first appeared on Inc.com.