Have you ever watched someone present with power and confidence? It usually appears easy until you find yourself wearing similar shoes before you feel the heat. The truth is, standing in front of a group of people can be highly uncomfortable and intimidating, but it’s a skill that can be learned and improved on.
I remember the first time I was invited to give a presentation to a considerable large audience was way back in high school. I thought I had it altogether until a few minutes before my presentation, I found out that my entire body was shaking uncontrollably. I tried calming down but my body just wouldn’t cooperate. By the time I was called, I could barely hold the microphone let alone speak audibly and although the audience at the time gave me a standing ovation, I knew in my mind that it wasn’t my best.
From that day forward, I decided to sharpen my speaking skills. I bought a book written by Brian Tracy titled “Speak to Win“. This book is one of the best books I’ve ever read about how to present with power in any situation. Not only does the book address how to present with power and confidence, it also shared details on how to succeed during a negotiation process. Each time I have a presentation or I’m invited to speak at an event, I take it upon myself to brush up. You too can.
If you are looking to sharpen your presentation skills, here are a few tips that will help you to present with power and confidence.
1. Understand the purpose of your presentation: This is the first step to presenting with power and confidence.
Every event has a purpose and it is your responsibility to find out what the purpose of the event is the moment you receive the invitation to speak.
Ask the organizer(s), what would success look like to them? If you are the organizer of the event, ask yourself, “what do I want my audience to take away from this event?” What would success look like? Write your thoughts down. Writing on a paper or using a computer is your best bet. Do not store your answers or ideas in your head.
2. Prepare your speech: Many people underestimate the power that lies in the act of preparation, hence take it lightly or never do enough to prepare.
It does not matter whether you are speaking to a group of three people or a group of 1 million people, without preparation, you will fail even before you start.
Preparation brews confidence and if you are not thoroughly prepared even little things like document incompatibility at the start of your presentation can throw you off balance. For your next presentation at work, school, church or organization, try and prepare your presentation way ahead of time and watch how big of a difference it will make at the end of the day.
3. Study powerful speakers: One of the fastest ways to learn is to study those who excel in a field you want to excel in.
There are many powerful and confident speakers in the world and if you want to learn fast, you need to study them.
Studying is not the same as acting, behaving or speaking like them. Your duty as you study is to watch how they introduce themselves to the audience, how they move around the room, their posture, their power point style and arrangement and how they end the presentation. Making a note of all these things can help you in your preparation.
4. Practice your speech: Repetition is the key to mastery and repetition only comes from a place of mastery. If you want to learn how to speak with power and confidence you must practice repeatedly. Bruce Lee once said, I fear not the man to has practiced 10,000 kicks once but I fear the man who has practiced one kick 10,000 times. Do you get the logic?
Powerful and confident speakers don’t happen overnight even if they were born with innate ability to speak eloquently and capture the attention of a audience.
Practice your opening and closing lines. You can practice by recording yourself or better still, practice in front of others. Ask for their feedback and work on areas that need to be polished. This will make a huge difference and will definitely help you in presenting with power and confidence when it’s time for you to speak.
5. Arrive early: One of the things that can stand in your way of presenting with power and confidence is arriving late on the day of the presentation. Punctuality gives you a buffer to calm your nervousness and “get it” together. It also helps you to accommodate last minute changes that might impact your presentation. Another point worthy of note is it allows you to interact with the attendees. This is especially useful if you are giving a presentation to a large audience. Interacting with the attendees before you begin your presentation will help you know what their expectations are, add to your talking points and help you win them over to your side once the presentation starts.
6. Deliver: The best way to present with power and confidence is to deliver with power and confidence. Funny, isn’t it? In order to be successful at anything, you must show up and show out. Walk up to that stage and deliver the best presentation you can and watch how you’ll begin to soar.
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