Let’s face it: public speaking isn’t exactly our most favorite activity. In fact, for most of us, it’s probably one of the worst things we have to do. Luckily, there are a few tips you can follow to help improve your public speaking and make you a better presenter.
Make an outline
This might seem like a pretty simple step, but it’s an important one. Making an outline of your presentation can help you streamline your ideas and make sure you keep them in a logical order. It also helps you see what kind of information you’re giving to your audience, and you can trim (you don’t want to give them too much superfluous information) or add as necessary.
Use a hook
When opening your presentation, you want to grab the attention of your audience right away, as it will set the tone for the rest of your presentation and determine how interested they’ll be right from the start. Try asking a question to get them thinking, or maybe use a well-known title or reference to hook them on your speech.
From graphs to pictures to videos, images can really help liven up your presentation. It can also be a good way to consolidate information in a way your audience can better process, meaning they’ll remember your information better. It also makes your presentation more interesting, so people are more likely to pay attention.
Practice, practice, practice
It might seem like a no-brainer, but practice really does make perfect. If you rehearse your presentation, when it’s time for you to actually give it, it’ll feel like second nature to you, and it’ll be a lot less stressful (plus you’ll be a lot less likely to forget that important piece of information you need to include in the third minute).
Focus on your message
If you don’t know what the focus of your presentation is, your audience won’t either. What do you want them to get out of it? Are you trying to motivate them? Are you presenting a solution to a problem? Whatever your overall message is, hone it in and let it permeate your whole presentation. This simple trick really can make you a better presenter.