Top 10 Bite-Sized Advice Tips for Delivering Effective Speeches & Presentations
Article kindly supplied by Johnny McGinley, MCIPR, MIC, CIPR Accredited Practitioner.
Bite-Sized Advice Tip One
I know this sounds obvious but this is still a common mistake sometimes, know your audience! What is their level of knowledge of the topic you are speaking on? What is it they want to learn or hear from you? These two pieces of information should always serve as the foundation stones of your speech or presentation.
Bite-Sized Advice Tip Two
Know how long you are going to speak for and stick to this time. Always rehearse it advance because if there are other people speaking after you, and you run over your allocated timeslot, it may result in them having to shorten their speech to ensure the event ends on time. That reflects badly on you and can also damage your personal reputation.
Bite-Sized Advice Tip Three
Know in advance what equipment you will need and ensure it is available. Will you need a microphone if it is a large conference hall for example? Will you need a laptop projector? Will you need an internet connection and is this easily available to connect to at the venue? Finally, know how you can ensure that the laptop you will be using will not go into power saving mode during your power-point presentation.
Bite-Sized Advice Tip Four
The best practice structure to effective speeches and presentations consists of an introduction, body and conclusion. In the introduction tell them what you are going to talk about. In the body deliver three key messages using practical examples to reinforce your points and messages. Finally, in the conclusion summarise what you told them and always give your audience the opportunity to ask questions and engage with you.
Bite-Sized Advice Tip Five
If you are going to use speech cues and will be using a microphone write them on card as paper creates a noisy interference with microphones. Also ensure that the speech cards are in the correct order in advance and are ideally not bigger than postcard size to avoid becoming too much of a visual distraction for the audience. Try not to constantly read from the speech cue cards, use them merely to prompt you.
Bite-Sized Advice Tip Six
Never turn your back on the audience always face them and make eye contact with them. Your aim is to show that you are an engaging speaker.
Bite-Sized Advice Tip Seven
If you are using a flipchart stand to the side of it and face the audience when speaking, never face the flipchart with your back to the audience. Use your hands to go from the flipchart to the audience, and back again to convey to the audience when they should focus their attention on the flipchart.
Bite-Sized Advice Tip Eight
Avoid having coins or key chains in your pocket on the day of the speech or presentation, they may “jingle” as you move across the floor with your presentation or speech. This would create an audible distraction for your audience at a time when they should be focusing on the content of your speech or presentation.
Bite-Sized Advice Tip Nine
Help yourself to relax by taking 10 slow deep breaths before your presentation or speech. Also have a jug of water within easy reach during the presentation and this is to allow you time to pause and gather your thoughts when you need to during the presentation. Drinking water also helps lubricate the vocal chords.
Bite-Sized Advice TipTen
Don’t be afraid to engage with the audience during the speech or presentation, it will help stimulate their interest. Make maximum use of your floor space. Also, don't be afraid to make use of light humour at appropriate points during the speech or presentation. This will help the audience build a good rapport with you.
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