10 Public Speaking Tips to Crush Your Next Presentation

Published by MLCH on

#1 Focus on the audience, not yourself

If you feel nervous…

If you feel like nobody is going to listen to what you have to say…

It’s because you’re focusing on yourself.

You’re thinking, “Do I look good?”, “Do I sound smart?”, “What will they think of me?”

You can flip this around by focusing on the value you give to your audience. You need to ask yourself, “What can I do to give more value?”.

#2 Power Move

Before going to the stage, do a quick “power move” to instantly get high energy.

When you have high energy, your audience automatically has high energy.

Before being introduced, you might jump up and down. You might bang your chest and say “Yes!”.

You might punch the air 3 times and say, “Let’s go!” You might raise your arms in the air quickly 3 times and say, “I’m ready!”.

Use whatever power move works for you.

#3 Practice

The biggest reason why most people have stage fright is that they’re afraid to deliver a boring speech. And that comes from only one thing… lack of practice.

The more you practice your presentation and your communication, the more confident you are. On average, every minute you’re on stage requires about an hour of preparation.

#4 Prop

When you step onto the stage you only have 10 seconds to get their attention or they’ll mentally tune out. So to stand out and get their attention, you can use a prop; a physical item that feels misplaced to the audience.

Most people have a certain expectation of things and they go through the same routine every day. When you do something odd, you force the audience to pay attention.

Imagine you’re doing a presentation about how to quit smoking, what would be an odd way to start the presentation?

To pull out a cigarette and almost light it.

#5 Engage with your audience

One of the best ways to capture their attention and keep them hooked is by interacting with them.

You can ask a provocative question that gets them thinking, but don’t require them to answer like…

“Imagine you quit smoking today. What would happen to your health and how much money would you have saved 12 months from now?”

“Oh, you think smoking is cool? Well, let me tell you something…”

You can ask them a benefit-driven question:

“Are you excited to know how to____, raise your hand and say “Yeah!”

“Raise your hand if you want to know exactly how to_____.”

#6 Leverage the power of stories

Using stories in your speech or presentation will get them to buy your message.

Instead of saying “Research shows that smoking kills”…

You can tell a real story about how a mother of two overcame lung cancer by quitting smoking entirely and can now participate in her kid’s graduation ceremony.

#7 Vulnerable

When you are trying to be perfect…

When you are trying to sound smart…

Or when you’re trying to say every line that you scripted out…

They can sense that and it’ll be difficult for you to connect with them. Because the best way to connect with a person is by being vulnerable.

It could be trying to eliminate a word-for-word script from your speech. Or it could be sharing a personal story.

When you go on stage with nothing to hide, nothing to prove, and nothing to protect…

You gain more confidence, power, and authority as a speaker.

#8 Less is more

Don’t try to cram too many things into one speech.

#9 Dress Well

Your audience examines you with 4 criteria:

  1. What you DO
  2. What you SAY
  3. How you say it
  4. How you LOOK

When you look good, you feel good.

When you feel good, you perform better.

#10 Have a great opening and ending

Your audience remembers what they heard first and last.

You can start by:

  • Talking about some people in the audience or about the group that invited you.
  • Giving an example that provokes curiosity or promises them a benefit.
  • Telling a story that makes fun of yourself.

Never say:

  • “I don’t really know what to say…”
  • “Well, I am really not a speaker…”
  • “I don’t do this a lot…”
  • “I haven’t really prepared…”

The audience immediately wonders what are you doing standing there.

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