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10 Tips for a Killer Presentation

It’s easy to compound our innate fear of public speaking by delivering a really bad presentation. There’s nothing worse than fighting the nervous butterflies in your stomach and seeing the glazed-eyes look of your audience as you slowly bore them to tears.

Neil Patel has posted 10 Tips for a Killer PresentationMy three favourites:

  • Don’t abuse your visuals – Usually your visuals are posters, charts, or even a PowerPointpresentation. Whatever your visuals may be, keep them simple and don’t put too many words on them. The audience isn’t there to read your slides, they are there to listen to you present.
  • Make them laugh – Although you want to educate your audience, you need to make them laugh as well. I learned this from  and if you ever hear any of his speeches you’ll understand why. In essence, it keeps the audience alert and they’ll learn more from you than someone who just educates.
  • Talk to your audience, not at them – People hate it when they get talked at, so don’t do it. You need to interact with your audience and create a conversation. An easy way to do this is to ask them questions as well as letting them ask you questions.

I have one more tip that I’ve had to learn the hard way: Tell stories – People don’t want to sit through a dry recitation of facts, statistics, policy, etc. They want to hear how what you have to say plays out in real life. Learn to tell stories.

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10 tips for successful public speaking

 has put together a list of ten tips that will help improve your public speaking skills.

  1. Know your material. Pick a topic you are interested in. Know more about it than you include in your speech.
  2. Use personal stories and conversational language – that way you won’t easily forget what to say.
  3. Practice. Practice. Practice! Rehearse out loud with all equipment you plan on using. Revise as necessary.
  4. Know the room. Arrive early, walk around the speaking area and practice using the microphone and any visual aids.
  5. Know the audience. Greet some of the audience members as they arrive. It’s easier to speak to a group of friends than to strangers.
  6. Relax. Ease tension by doing exercises. Transform nervous energy into enthusiasm.
  7. Visualize yourself giving your speech. Imagine yourself speaking, your voice loud, clear and confident. Visualize the audience clapping – it will boost your confidence.
  8. Realize that people want you to succeed. Audiences want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They don’t want you to fail.
  9. Don’t apologize for any nervousness or problem – the audience probably never noticed it.
  10. Concentrate on the message – not the medium. Focus your attention away from your own anxieties and concentrate on your message and your audience.
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