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Expert Answers to Biz Questions

Listen in! Pick up some expert advice to a reader's question that we selected from CyberSchmooz.

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Public Speaking & Presentation Tips For Business Owners

 

Conferences, meetings, seminars… There is no shortage of opportunities to speak in public in professional life. As a business owner, you are going to encounter many situations where you will to need to give a presentation.

 

Whether you are delivering a business pitch or meeting with investors to raise some investment capitol, you are going to need to hone your public speaking skills. Unfortunately, many entrepreneurs wait until the last minute until they begin practicing, only to find themselves nervous and unprepared.

 

Public speaking and giving presentations are among the most intellectually challenging art in the context of communication. Composing an appealing speech that would capture the audience’s attention is already a major obstacle. Its essence is not necessarily only about making people believe what you have got to say, but at least getting them to think about it.

 

Delivering your presentation is not just about highlighting some information. It is the art of getting people to see things from your perspective and getting them to take action. There are so many things you should learn if you want to persuade your audience to listen to what you are trying to deliver in front of of them.

 

But, while some people feel like fish in the water in front of an audience, others sweat coldly at the thought of being in front of tens or hundreds of people. There is no magic formula to making the jitters go away, but there are a number of tips that can help you manage your presentations better in public and appear much more at ease.

 

Establish Credibility

When you introduce yourself to the audience, try establishing your credibility right away. If you have ever seen a business keynote speaker being introduced, it always begins with their accomplishments and accolades. This is called “pre-framing”.

 

By establishing credibility right away, this will give you a better chance of getting your audiences to pay attention to what you will be saying. Also, the display of confidence and wit also helps in establishing more credibility as well.

 

Find Your Pace

When we don't feel comfortable in public, we tend to want to rush things by telling ourselves that the faster the presentation is sent, the sooner the ordeal will be over. It is therefore tempting to immediately get to the heart of the matter, barely on stage.

Big mistake.

Such behavior reflects your fear and your lack of ease. Instead, don't be in a hurry, take a seat in your seat or behind your desk, watch your audience, and take a deep breath before you speak.

 

While it is essential to start slowly, it is equally important not to pick up the pace too much. You might think that speaking too softly is the best way to annoy your audience: nay!

 

Stress and fear have the ability to increase the speaker's speed of speech, which can quickly make his speech inaudible and difficult to assimilate, especially if it is a technical and specialized subject. In short, take the time and space your words well during your presentation: you will be understood better and appear less anxious.

 

Be Adoptive

Have you ever seen a famous keynote speaker or even politicians on stage speaking in front of large audiences? If you watch and listen to them, you would be able to observe how they use words as a tool to convince people to support their campaign, vote for them, or do something that they would recommend you to do.

 

These are very good examples of persuasive presentations that lead people towards a specific outcome. You can actually try to adopt the way they do it to improve your own public speaking styles. It’s important to spend some time listening to other speakers so you can see what works and what doesn’t.

 

Choose Your Words Wisely

When you are trying to inspire and motivate people to take some form of action, then you need to be very mindful of the words you use. Try to think of certain words that you deem to be helpful in getting your audience’s attention. If you pay attention to some of the leading sales experts, you will notice that he or she would use their words to convince the person of the point they are trying to get across when selling them.

 

So just like selling them, use words that are somewhat guaranteeing them that they should have no doubts with what you’re trying to tell them. Try to make them understand that you are only after their best interests and make them believe that you are knowledgeable of what you are telling them.

 

Body Language

Communication does not only happen through the voice: in public speaking, gestures count as much as words. One study even concluded that 93% of communication is non-verbal.

 

The position of your arms (open or closed), the curvature of your back, your smile, the way you walk… All this influences the perception that your interlocutors have of you. Also think of the para-verbal , which corresponds to the grain and the range of your voice, or your intonation.

 

Proper demeanor and execution go hand in hand with good delivery of your presentation. Having an interesting speech topic is simply not enough. When you are speaking in public, you should try to be extra cautious with how you deliver your words especially with your body gestures and facial expressions. According to Motivation Ping, if you want people to listen to and trust you, you must be more cognizant of your body language.

 

As you may know, there are things that are conveyed even before we try to say them simply because our body language had given them away. So every single time you go up on the stage and speak out, make sure you condition yourself by gaining enough self trust and mustering enough confidence first so that you would not have difficulty with the execution of your speech.

 

Proper Presentation

How people will see you as a person depend on how you present your speech. Being well groomed and well dressed are key essentials but will never be enough. What matters is how a certain topic is being delivered to the audience to make a persuasive speech or to believe in something incredible. When done correctly, it will give no reason for your audience to cast any shadow of doubt on you.

 

Final Thoughts

Giving a presentation is not as easy as most people think they are, especially when you are trying to persuade your audience to buy into your ideas or take some form of action. However, with the right preparation and mindset, you can develop these skills over time and increase your companies sales, gain more investors, or establish more credibility in your industry.

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