In this article we will go over some tips from the pros and highlight some of the ways to make your speech look effortless with the help of tips and examples from the late Steve Jobs.
According to Carmine Gallo in his book, “the world’s greatest communicators have always known that ‘spontaneity’ is the result of planned practice.” You do not master giving your presentation by simply staring at your notes 3 hours before the event. Practice repetitively in all aspects of your presentation for hours and hours. Practice your slides, your tone of voice, and everything you will say and do.
Consider the equipment, lights, and venue while you brainstorm about how any issues could arise during your presentation. If you master your presentation in all aspects, then you will not be phased by a technical failure. To an outsider, you will appear an expert at improvisation and spontaneity, but in reality your skills come from practice and repetition.
Know your content backwards and forwards. You don’t have to eliminate all forms of notes, but simply use your presentation text, photos, and videos as cues to keep your place. Spend time interacting with the audience members and helping them feel engaged. Don’t let notecards or other obtrusive notes get in the way and create a barrier between your presentation and the listeners.
The typical energy level for a business man or woman is usually quite low while public speaking in meetings and at events. Raise your energy level, and then raise it even more! What you think you energy is too exaggerated and you feel slightly uncomfortable, you have probably reached the level that is perfect for your audience to be able to feel the energy you wish to express during the presentation. You should be excited to share your presentation with your audience.
Energetic people are likeable people and we are drawn to people with high energy levels. Performances on stage and public speaking require speakers who are energetic and enthusiastic. Express yourself and share your excitement about the material in your presentation. Your audience not only wants to be informed about your material in your presentation, but they also want to be entertained.
Be confident and shift the focus from you to how the audience will benefit for the new knowledge or new product/service they will receive. Even the best public speakers can get nervous before an event, but they rehearse everything to ease their mind. You can appear conversational during a speech only after hours of practice. Eye contact and high energy levels are two ways to improve your public speaking skills, but everything really comes down to practice.
Reference: Gallo, C. The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs: How to Be Insanely Great in Front of Any Audience. New York: McGraw-Hill, 2010. Print.
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