Monday, January 9, 2012
If you want to add polish at the podium, enjoy your speaking experience and influence your listeners’ attention, then set the presentation bar high with these resolutions!
1. Begin your speech without words. Experience three seconds of silence! (Look before you leap/speak!) Like a conductor of an orchestra, you are in charge and set the tone. Allow yourself a few breaths to connect inwardly as you look out at the crowd.
2. Know how you will start. Learn, (not necessarily memorize) your opening “lines.” Commit to practicing this opening at least once, aloud, sometime before your presentation. This minimizes “start-up” anxiety!
3. Stand still for your opening sentence (or two). You will look in control and maximize your image and presence. This also helps your audience to listen with focus, (by the way, standing still does not mean standing stiff).
4. Try on a new way of opening, i.e., a rhetorical question, striking fact, or personal story, rather than the usual, bland, “I’m So and So and I’m going to talk about “X.”
5. Embrace less is more, when it comes to visual aids. Reduce text, read less and be less slide-dependent. Be able to overview your presentation highlights without a single slide!
6. Hear yourself as you speak! You will become more conscious of what you say and how you say it. As a result, your self-awareness, presence and connection will grow.
7. Stop worrying about your hands! Let them be! Focus on your passion and your hands will gesture in a way that is natural for you.
8. Control-Alt-Delete negative self-talk. Eliminate any judgmental inner chatter to create space for something neutral or positive.
9. Refrain from running "off-stage," if you ask for questions and you don’t get any (a very awkward moment indeed!) Start the question-ball rolling yourself by saying something like, “Sometimes people ask me…….” Then answer that question and ask the audience again if they have any questions (usually they do!).
10. Have the final word. After the Q & A, close your presentation by reiterating your key message, what you want the audience to most remember. These will be the last words they hear, so make them clear and concise and deliver them with confidence!
About The Author:
Eileen N. Sinett, author of "Speaking that Connects" is a presentation coach-consultant, facilitator and keynote speaker whose knowledge spans several cross-functional disciplines including the speech arts and communication sciences, career management, training and development, diversity, psycholinguistics and spiritual psychology. She provides individual coaching and customized group programs for leaders, executives and entrepreneurs. Her clients include large corporations, non-profit organizations and individual professionals. Ms.Sinett earned a Bachelors of Science in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Emerson College in Boston, Massachusetts where she graduated summa com laude, and a Master of Arts in Speech Correction from Kean University in New Jersey. Eileen is currently the Program Chair of the Mercer Regional Chapter of the American Conference on Diversity and an active member of the Plainsboro Business Partnership/Princeton Regional Chamber of Commerce.
Eileen N. Sinett Communications