5 ways to prepare for a successful public speaking presentation
Preparing for a successful public speaking presentation requires careful planning, skill, and practice. No matter how much of an expert you are at your topic, delivering it to an audience requires quite a different skillset. It involves being 100% authentically you whilst you’re on stage to keep your audience interested and engaged in your topic.
This article highlights some techniques and strategies that you can apply straight away to ensure your presentation is delivered effectively.
- Know your slides
If you are using slides, you need to be really familiar with these to give a successful presentation. You should know exactly at what point you are moving from slide to slide so your delivery is seamless. Find out beforehand whether you are moving the slides direct from your laptop or using a wireless presentation clicker. This will determine how animated you can be on stage.
However, I also like to rehearse my presentation with AND without the wireless presentation clicker, so that in the event of it not working, it doesn’t throw me off course. I can still deliver the presentation seamlessly by moving slides with my laptop. It gives me that backup and I can adapt to it whatever situation is thrown at me on the day.
- Memorize your talk
Don’t rely on pieces of paper during your presentation. They block the viewer and can look like you’re ill-prepared. Instead, memorize your talk from start to finish. By memorizing it in chunks or sections it makes it more achievable, and this helps with remembering the different sections of your story.
Record yourself doing it so that you can listen on your iPhone as you commute into the office and immerse yourself in it every day.
Believe me, it’s not fun memorizing the whole lot, but I’ve found that my best presentations have been the ones that I know by heart.
- Practice with a small audience
Practice giving your presentation to a small audience. It might be your Presentation Coach (this is always recommended!), or it could be select family members who can offer constructive feedback that you may not have thought of.
Be careful with this that your ‘family’ audience may not be the same as your real audience, so you can take a view about whether to implement their feedback or not. Always have your real audience in mind when doing so.
- Start early
On the day of the presentation, have everything ready the night before so you are not thrown by any unforeseen circumstances. Set off in good time and if you’re mega early, go and find a coffee shop close by to gather your thoughts and focus on the end result that you want.
If the venue you are speaking at is too far to leave anything to chance, it’s best to stay local the night before so your travel is one less thing to worry about.
- Breathe, breathe, breathe
Before you are due to step on stage, remember your breathing exercises. You can start these in the morning when you get up, and again just before you go on stage to help release any tension and enable you to feel more confident.
I hope these tips have given you some insight into how you can prepare to deliver a successful presentation. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort, you’ll discover the power of being able to influence your audience and leave a lasting impression.
Contact me if you need Presentation Coaching to help with any element of your presentation.