Friday, October 12, 2012

Already a Decent Speaker? Here Are 5 Expert Tips

Every great leader must be adept at making presentations. Here's how to perfect yours.

Here are five advanced tips will make your presentation that much more memorable:

1. Start With Your Face

Make good eye contact by moving them across the room in a tic-tac-toe pattern and briefly locking eyes with as many people as you can. Linger long enough to complete a thought or statement. You want everyone in the room to feel you are giving the presentation just to him.
Your facial expressions should be deliberate and purposeful. If you look down or away, your audience will perceive it as a lack of confidence or that you are trying to remember a point you forgot. Remember to smile.

2. Use Your Body

Always utilize your body--not your slides--to keep your audience engaged. Use elaborate hand gestures to emphasize size, shape, direction, or to make a point. Your motions will feel extreme, but your audience is typically further away, so grand gestures will only keep people engaged and help them visualize your point.
Resist any temptation to stay stationary behind a podium. Use your entire presentation space, and make sure you move with purpose and command the stage. Never put your back to your audience.

Your slides should be simple and support what you say, but should not distract your audience from focusing exclusively on you.

3. Master Your Voice

Your voice is your most powerful and important asset while you are on the stage. Use inflection wisely to keep your speech interesting, and project your voice to the very back of the room. Understand that how you say your speech is as important as what you say. A slight lift in your voice means you are asking a question; ending your sentence slightly lower indicates authority.
The biggest mistake most speakers make is a failure to slow down or use pauses. Silence and space between words allows for emphasis and lets your audience catch up with your ideas.

4. Shake It Up