How to Make a Great Presentation

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Many people say they fear public speaking more than anything else. But for others, it is an exciting and rewarding experience. Here are the tips and tricks professionals use. Learn how they can work for you.

  • Be prepared and well-rehearsed. Knowing what you are going to say is the key to confidence. Practice in front of the mirror, your family and a video camera if possible. Have your friendly audience tell you about any distracting habits you might have, but also encourage them to tell what you are doing well. Concentrating on what you do well is often better than trying to change less-effective habits.

  • Do not memorize your presentation word for word. Know the general ideas you need to get across to your audience. This way, forgetting a word or sentence will not throw you off course.

  • Eat protein and cut out carbohydrates at the meal before your presentation. Protein keeps you mentally alert, while carbs can take the edge off and make you seem tired.

  • Do not start your presentation with a joke unless you are an outstanding stand-up comedian. Start with a personal story or reflection that communicates who you are or how you are connected with your audience.

  • Do not have your written speech in front of you. You will be tempted to keep looking down at it or sound as though you are reading to your audience. Have an outline with key ideas or the sequence of ideas you wish to follow. This way you can stay connected visually with your audience and look down only occasionally to ensure you are covering all points.

  • Make eye contact with as many people in your audience as you can. Keep surveying the group as you speak. The people will feel as though you are speaking to them personally and will be more alert and receptive to your messages.

  • Keep your hands out of your pockets. Many speakers have distracted the audience from their message because they kept jingling their keys or coins in their pocket.

  • Act as though you are having a great time and are really happy to be there. The audience will pick up on your mood and energy and will begin to feel the same way.

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