Making presentations and speaking in front of large numbers of people is part and parcel of everyday life for many. It is often dreaded, and seen as a task to be feared or to be fretted over. But for those who fear the days they must come face-to-face with prospective clients or pitch their latest ideas to a board, there are guidelines and tips that can be followed. These hints and tips help to transform sales pitches, exhibitions and other forms of presentation from nerve-wracking disasters into a platform for the vocalisation of exciting ideas and great sales patter. Here are some general rules to follow when preparing to speak in public at any sort of event, be it on a one-to-one basis or in front of a crowd.
It is the most commonly offered advice regarding any kind of public speaking, but preparation really is the very best measure to prevent failure. If taking a stand to an exhibition, prepare sales pitches carefully and practice them. Write a script, learn it, then learn to ad-lib and improvise around the basic structure. Even writing down some basic bullet points and placing them in order of importance can create a general guide for the direction of the pitch, and prevent wasted words and going off on tangents. This method also works for longer presentations; pitches at work and seminars can involve long periods of speech and require a lot more preparation than a short sales introduction at an event, but the general preparatory method is the same.
2.Research The Audience
Presentations are not for you, they are intended for the benefit of the audience. This means that the audience should be thoroughly researched beforehand to ensure that what is said will be relevant and interesting to them. Knowing the audience’s demographics helps to create a more engaging presentation that will make the audience feel as though they are being spoken to directly. This makes for a memorable presentation, and helps with nerves; having an attentive audience can often quell nerves far more effectively than an audience which needs to be convinced of one’s knowledge or position.
3.Equipment and Supplementary Materials
Making a presentation isn’t always in the speech and the content; having the appropriate equipment is also vital. The right display stands with the appropriate graphics can help to project certain images and thoughts even whilst the presenter isn’t speaking. PowerPoint presentations are useful for seminar situations, whilst providing all attendees with a supplementary document containing a summary of the key points within an internal company meeting or sales pitch can demonstrate a higher level of preparation and commitment.