Have you ever witnessed a truly great speaker? The kind of person who strides onto the stage and captivates their audience, keeping them on the edge of their seats from their very first word through the end of their presentation? Public speaking is an essential component to professional success; nearly all jobs involve at least occasional presentations, whether it’s to an audience of two or two thousand. If you’ve ever wished you could be a more engaging speaker with the ability to effortlessly command a room, check out three tips for a standout presentation below!
Relax: If you’re tense during your presentation, your audience will pick up on your energy and feel tense and uncomfortable as well. Take five to ten minutes before your presentation to relax in a quiet space. Take deep breaths and concentrate on your breathing. Stretch out your neck and shoulders as well as the muscles of your face, and do a few vocal warm up exercises. By the time you walk on stage you’ll be much more relaxed and come across as more naturally confident.
Use Eye Contact to Your Advantage: When speaking in front of a group, many people try to calm their nerves by looking at the ceiling or inanimate objects as they speak. This is a major missed opportunity. Making eye contact with the audience helps establish a connection, and helps your listener feel more invested in your message. Make eye contact for a short period of time (3-5 seconds) with individual members of the audience, moving your gaze to different parts of the room to keep everyone engaged.
Keep Your Voice Clear and Strong: It doesn’t matter how well put together your presentation is if you present it with a weak voice. Remember: your breath is the power behind your voice. Take deep breaths from your abdomen, not your chest, as you speak. Pause at appropriate moments in your presentation to take additional breaths. You should also keep a bottle of water nearby to keep your vocal cords hydrated and keep your voice strong and clear.
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