Here, people share with us their tried and tested techniques that can make a difference to your confidence level and your effectiveness when speaking:
Always start your presentation by connecting with each type of person in your audience. You will find 3 types in your audience - they will either be Visual, Kinaesthetic or Auditory based. Of course we all use all three but we usually have one dominant one that we prefer to connect with. To connect with all 3 types you have to use the language that each of them feel most comfortable with so for example. I feel (kinaesthetic) really excited about being here today as I have heard the buzz (auditory) in the room and I can see (visual) that you are all eager to hear the tips and techniques that I have to share with you today. Sue France (FCID) www.suefrance.com
I often build a humorous story or analogy into my introduction, particularly at the start of long workshops. It helps me to relax and sends the message that in my workshops it is OK to have fun, be professional and learn at the same time. In fact, it is encouraged!
If you find yourself talking too fast (in other words, you're getting through your material too quickly for the time slot and your listeners have that glazed look of non-comprehension), take a tip from the world of DJ-ing and move your hands as you speak at the speed you want to talk at. The reason it works is that, for some reason, your voice adjusts to the speed of your hand movements.
When taking questions from the floor, précis the question to involve the rest of the audience who may not have understood or heard - it also helps to make sure that you have understood the question yourself.
Another tip is to allow plenty of time to make sure the requested facilities are available and working, and that your presentation materials work OK. e.g. if you need PowerPoint, check that you have been given a machine with it on.
When I first began presenting to groups I used the phrase "fake it till I make it".
I found it a real confidence booster and it was not long until my brain had taken on the message of "I can do this with confidence" and I used a new affirmation "these people want to hear what I have to say!"
Be comfortable in your own skin.
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