Presentation Confidence: Find It! Create It! Groom It!

One quality that sticks out to me as make or break in athletics and is common among all the greats is confidence. You never see someone win the gold medal at the Olympics who is timid or unsure of his or her abilities. It’s a quality that can truly take someone from good to great in anything. This goes for pitches and presentations too. Ever walk away from a speaker who moved or inspired you that wasn’t confident about their subject or their mastery of it?

Here are three tips to get you more confident before your next speech so you thrive next time you step in front a group of people.

Know your stuff: This would equate to having great fundamentals in sports. These are the things that are the foundation of your skill, and in your speech it is really as simple as knowing your topic well. Be familiar with the subject, so that you can answer questions, and be able to adjust in case something goes wrong. You’ll be more comfortable and your audience will sense it.

Practice: Pretty obvious, but I think it’s still important to point it out. You are never going to be confident giving a speech if the first time you present is in front of your audience for the real deal. No athlete competes without putting in hours at the gym or on the practice field first. Practice out loud, and try to practice it at least once in front of another person… dogs don’t count here. My goal is always to practice the full speech three times before the real one.

Posture: Someone in your life has probably told you to stand up straight or not to slouch; well for presenting they were dead right. This helps in two ways. The first is that it makes you look more confident to your audience, and that means they’ll be more receptive to your message and view you as the authority. The second is physiological. When you stand up straight and push your shoulders back your brain actually produces hormones that make you more confident and less stressed. It’s important during your presentation, but I would like to challenge you to practice it all day. I like to use doorways to remind myself. Every time I walk through a doorway I try to check my posture and correct it if I can.

There you have it, 3 easy ways to be more confident (or at least seem more confident) in your presentations and pitches. Know your stuff, practice your presentation 3 times, and practice good posture (hopefully all day).

Try them out for your next big speech and reap the rewards of a more powerful message.

Perfecting Your Keynote Presentation

As a keynote speaker it is very crucial that you must smooth out the bumps of your presentation. One of the best way to tell if your presentation was successful is to pass out evaluation forms for your audience to rate you on how you did. Another thing you can do is to ask some of your audience members if they truly understood or absorbed the techniques and ideas that you taught them. The success of your presentation greatly depends on the feedback of the audience. A positive feedback from the audience would be that they will greatly anticipate the next part of your presentation while a negative feedback will cause some audience members to get easily bored or to walk out of the room. Here are a few ways that you can perfect your presentation.

Doing Heaps Of Research- If you wish to have a flawless presentation then do research about your clients company or about the topic they have provided beforehand. This is very important if you wish to relay to your audience several techniques and ideas about how to change their life and work strategies. To ensure that you cite the proper examples and present the right techniques to your audience then do some research and look into how to motivate these individuals into moving forward and implementing these new ideas and techniques into their daily rituals.

Preparing Your Presentation Beforehand- As the keynote speaker must always prepare your presentation a week or more before the actual date of the event. This is to ensure that you can fully review everything that you’ve prepared and thus you can make the necessary corrections before delivering it. You can also practice delivering your message so that you can memorize it by heart and present it with ease. Always remember to always be prepared and expect to make a couple of changes while presenting to flex your piece so that it will fit with your audience.

Getting To Know Your Audience- Observe your audience and see how they react to certain examples or topics that you present. You can immediately know if a person is interested or if a person is stubborn enough to listen to you by looking at their facial expressions. If their reaction to some topics or perhaps example shows concern and interest then you’re on the right track. You’ve hooked the crowd into understanding what you want them to understand. But if you can see their expressions has mixed feelings, boredom, or yawns then there is something wrong with your presentation. The audience is getting bored and is getting confused as to what to believe and what you are talking about.

Inserting Humor And Seat Exercises- Remember that when delivering your presentation, always insert a joke or two to let your audience know that your also know how to have fun. Just little jokes about how their bosses or about an employee that should get fired. Keep in mind to avoid racial and ethnic slurs that may offend some members of your audience.

Flash Charts in Corporate Presentations

Presentations are a part of everyday corporate life. Every company from automobile companies to newspapers, right down to the phone company and hardware manufacturers require presentations quite often to explain and/or illustrate how their business is running, showcase budgets and chalk out plans. An integral part of these presentations are charts. For effective data visualization which will convey and not confuse we need to use expressive charts that can present the given data in an aesthetic manner.

Recently, as I was making a series of slideshows for various presentations, I felt the need to make charts and realized that most of these looked very boring and difficult to comprehend. On investigation, I found a series of charting software that let one create visually arresting charts and tables based on an Adobe Flash Platform. These charting software are available at a price as well as free and are also very easy to use.

These presentation charts allow for greater variety and ensure that the attention of the audience is firmly on the information displayed at all times. The charts can also be made interactive by nature which makes it possible to insert drill-down options which could lead to another link or another function; one can include a mouse over option which will allow the viewer to access more details; one could also physically twirl the chart around to better illustrate the data showcased. The drag option lets the viewer play around with the icons further and also lets someone add secondary functions that can be accessed with the click of a mouse.

Flash charts effectively make your presentation look really good without compromising on data inclusion or comprehensibility. In fact, it makes it a lot easier for the viewers. Once the charts are better looking, the viewers want to pay attention. In addition to this we find that effective charting also allows to a greater amount of information to be included within a compact chart which means that we save both on space and complexity. The software required is freely available and are accompanied by efficient tutorials to explain their usage.