I remember during my graduation, I had to give my first presentation; it felt like my hands and legs were trembling, my voice and feelings were both inconsistent; I felt as if I had the responsibilities of whole world. I couldn’t figure out why that was happening. I am sure I’m not the only one who has gone through that situation. The first presentation can make you nervous, concerned and most importantly less self-assured, but I think that’s normal. So we have to learn how to prepare for a speech. What steps should we take to avoid a shaky body? How can we provide the best speech? How we can hear claps from the surrounding? I think it’s no wonder. By following some simple steps we can constantly improve to become an outstanding speaker. I hope that after reading this article your first speech will be better than my first presentation.
Whether you are giving five minutes of introduction or a complete presentation, groundwork research and fact checking are very important factors. If you are not knowledgeable about your subject then no article, book or advice can work for you. The most important factor is to know your topic very well. If you don’t know how the basic information on the presentation topic, then start asking yourself who, what, why, how, when, where and all related questions until you are very confident about the subject. Here are some recommendations that can surely help you to improve.
■Take a deep breath and understand that you are presenting a topic you’ve already prepared for. Nobody knows better than you at this point.
■Practice with a partner and improve your speech according to their opinions. This way you will become more confident and avoid mistakes. ■Don’t read, but instead practice with key points, and avoid memorizing entire speech.
■Write in your own words and using a method that will definitely help you to easily remember.
■When you are preparing, make sure you touch the same feeling you are going to have on the day of the speech. Be honest with yourself–if your hand is going to shake then feel it and keep practicing until you can do the speech without shaking, etc.
■The most important key is to concentrate on your presentation and nothing else stop thinking about anything during the performance. Most people think about their performance, looks, what people in the audience are thinking, etc. If you have something going on in your mind or in your stomach, no one is going to know until you start to speak about your subject or act nervous; so please stop that thinking and you will be able to recover and carry on with your speech.
■If you are not using a microphone then have a loud and appropriate tone. If you using microphone, try to speak slowly and softly. (Do practice once before speech, if you can).
■Be sure to time. If your speech is supposed to last for 30 minutes, then be sure your talk isn’t any longer. I repeat, no one knows better than you.
■Walk around, make appropriate eye contact with everyone and make yourself comfortable on the stage. Actually walking around is a useful trick. It can give you more chances to move, think and breathe.
■Start out with something interesting by using quotes or effective poetry lines or something that you think will get people’s attention and then go back to your subject.
■Do add humor to the speech if your talk is longer; this is another way to keep your audience’s attention.
■Have some questions, points and video if possible, as these can add supporting information to your presentation.
■Make sure you have a clear and relevant message with nice stories.
■Speak in complete sentences and keep it simple.
■Never apologize for your mistakes unless you make a technical or subjective error. If you have made a mistake, then laugh at yourself, as this is a good approach to get your speech back on track.
■Make a simple handout using an outline format; the audience will see the points your speech covers, while keeping their attention on your presentation.
■Your Presentation should be simple, clear and professional. Try to avoid the use of too many pictures or graphics on a slide show.
If you need further help, I am always here to help via the “contact us” web page. We all are unique and I am sure you must have learned or read additional ideas about how to give a speech. If yes, then please share it in comments and help us all to improve our speaking and presentations, as this a very important talent in the professional world.
“He had developed a trick in college for speaking with authority. He believed that breaking his argument into numbers forced people to pay attention. How you said something could be more important than what you said.” ― Nick McDonell
“It’s so hard to communicate because there are so many moving parts. There’s presentation and there’s interpretation and they’re so dependent on each other it makes things very difficult.” ― Garth Stein
In making a speech one must study three points: first, the means of producing persuasion; second, the language; third the proper arrangement of the various parts of the speech.- Aristotle
The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve.- Buddha
“If you have an important point to make, don’t try to be subtle or clever. Use a pile driver. Hit the point once. Then come back and hit it again. Then hit it a third time – a tremendous whack.” ― Winston Churchill
“Some of the most powerful speeches I have given have been delivered in the dedicated silence of my actions.” ― Steve Maraboli
“No audience ever complained about a presentation or speech being too short” ― Stephen Keague