You’ve got a room packed with people eager to hear you speak. You’ve been preparing for weeks and it’s finally time to give your presentation. Want to make sure they stay awake for your talk? Then be sure to do the following:
- Be prepared and organized. Have your notes in order and any visuals and equipment you’ll be using ready and waiting. Any handouts should be in piles ready to be handed out. Have plenty of extra copies. Know where the light switches are and how to operate any equipment you’ll be using.
- Stay on topic. Resist the urge to wander off on tangents.
- Know the purpose of your keynote speech. Let your audience know what you’ll be covering and what to expect right from the start. Use the Tell ‘Em technique of “Tell ’em what you’re gonna tell ’em, tell ’em, and then tell ’em what you just told ’em”
- Use body posture, language, and a voice that is confident and energized. No slouching, no looking at your feet or hiding behind a lectern. Keep your head up, make eye contact with your audience, and move around a little. And be careful to vary your voice a bit… no monotone voices!
- Use words that are active and have some punch to them. No wimpy words, technical jargon, or fancy superlatives here. State things in a way that everyone will understand exactly what you mean.
- Use facts, stats, stories, quotes, or other information that will support and help to illustrate your points. Remember to be sure they’re keeping to your primary purpose. Use props and visuals to add emphasis. Find ways to involve your audience.
- Use appropriate facial expression and gestures. Connect with your audience and let them feel your passion for your subject. Don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm!
- If you’re using overheads or other visuals, don’t read them to your audience. They should complement your information, not be a repeat. Same with handouts!
- Pay attention to your speech habits. Make sure you enunciate and speak clearly. Practice speaking without those annoying little “umms” and “uhhs”. Tape yourself when you rehearse and listen to see where you need to improve.
- Videotape yourself practicing your presentation. Watch the tape without sound and be on the lookout for any nervous habits such as swaying or jingling coins or keys in your pockets. Notice your gestures and facial expression and see if you can tell whether you seem enthusiastic or bored silly.
- Practice, practice, practice, practice, and then practice some more! Get the picture?
Of course, there are hundreds of other tips that will help you give great presentations. These are just a few of my favorites and if followed, will certainly add to the success of your talk. If you are serious about becoming a professional keynote speaker, visit this site to learn more as they have many articles and resources that can help you.