There's nothing more disappointing than developing a well-organized presentation with excellent information only to watch your audience's eyelids droop with boredom once you begin to speak. The reality is that even a well-structured presentation crafted with the target audience in mind can fail to achieve its purpose if the presenter's delivery is not effective. Luckily, delivery is a skill that can be learned and improved.
The next time you have an important presentation to make, use these 3 tips to enhance your delivery:
- Be Natural. Speak to the audience, not at the audience. Use vocal variety (natural rate, pitch and volume) and speak slowly.
- Use Appropriate Gestures. Appropriate gestures like eye contact, posture, hand movements, etc. will help keep your audience interested and engaged. Avoid pacing nervously or standing stiffly with your hands in your pockets. Connect with your audience by being as close as possible without anything (e.g., a podium) between you and them.
- Practice, Practice, Practice. Practicing is the easiest way to increase your confidence. Practice will also allow you to rely less on notes and be more convincing.