How did that TED Talker do it? How did she entertain me and change my ideas so quickly and easily? I was swept off my feet by her charisma and easy style. The time passed so fast, and I was hanging on to her every word. Now I’m a believer in what she’s selling! What did she do that won me over?
She was concise and confident, she was likable and she was persuasive. All characteristics that are essential to being a great communicator on stage and off.
Public speaking skills are necessary for your success. And drawing in your audience is an integral part of that. Whether you’re a blogger who presents at events, an employee who speaks to clients, or a leader and founder of a company, you need to be able to convey your ideas effectively and communicate excitement to your audience.
Otherwise, how will you close that sale or crush that job interview? How will you influence someone to buy into your vision? How will you tell someone to vote for your candidate?
You need persuasive public speaking skills for all these things and more.
Public Speaking is a Gift
You’ve been provided with a gift. Whether you’re an author, entrepreneur, or employee, you can speak in front of people every day, and you should never squander this opportunity.
By improving your public speaking skills, you can help people understand your ideas and get them excited about what you’re offering.
It doesn’t matter if you’re speaking at a conference, giving a presentation to potential clients, or a project manager for a non-profit – your persuasive public speaking skills are crucial.
Here’s the fantastic news: It’s easy to learn to be a better, more persuasive public speaker. Becoming a great presenter doesn’t have to be complicated.
You can develop your public speaking skills quickly and efficiently so that you can provide powerful experiences for your audience, whether it’s a room of 5 or 500. Just make sure you’re speaking clearly.
So don’t feel shame that you’re not an awesome presenter. You didn’t yet learn the techniques. Read on and you will!
Your colleagues are lying to you.
When you ask your colleagues how you did, they’re going to say your presentation was great! (You used all those filler words and you there was that moment you forgot what you were going to say.) And do you blame them?
They don’t want to hurt your feelings, and they honestly don’t know specifically what went wrong with your presentation. They just know the result was lackluster.
Now, your presentation was good, don’t get me wrong. You did a fine job. But did you inspire folks to take action? Did you close the deal immediately? Did people come away emotionally moved?
And is “fine” good enough for you? No, it’s not! That’s why you’re here! You’re a go-getter 🙂
You want and need to present well.
Presenting to a group is a skill that you can learn. Most people who’ve been through school can read, write and do their jobs at a very high level, but very few people can deliver a presentation well.
And even fewer know how to master persuading others with powerful presentations. Read on, and you’ll be one of the few.
Great speakers worked on it.
Great speakers have worked on their speech. They went out of their way to learn the techniques to become great presenters and they practiced those skills. They know how to speak up in meetings. And they’ve learned to articulate their thoughts into words. Most are still practicing and continuing to improve.
But they’re keeping it a secret from you. They don’t want you to know because they’re ultra-competitive. And in this competitive environment what else can they do?
Many of my clients keep their training to themselves. They call my techniques their secret sauce to being confident and persuasive whenever they communicate.
Presentations are powerful tools. They can influence how people see you and can get you hired or promoted. But you need techniques for presenting effectively.
How to Improve Your Communication Skills at Work
So how did that TED Talker do it?
Did the TED Talker just get up the TED stage one day and deliver a fantastic presentation? You know the answer to that question. No, she most likely started in her living room and worked her way to the church basement. She honed her craft and refined her message over a year or even quite a few.
But you need to make all of your presentations awesome. Not just one. And you don’t have a bunch of years. Yes, follow my advice, and you’ll continue to get better over the years, but you’ll also have actionable techniques to make you a better presenter in a couple of weeks.
9 Steps to Being a Better Presenter:
- Master your core messages. Practice them aloud with a recorder. It honestly baffles my mind how many people are happy to prepare and practice writing and other skills but think their speech should come out perfect the first time. To get good at anything, you need to practice. Why, then, would you believe that public speaking should be any different? Practice your concepts in private first; don’t wait for others to critique your speech for you.
- Think about your audience, think about what they know & what they need to know, and design your presentation with that in mind. Among the most critical aspects of presentation skills is knowing what your audience knows and what you are trying to communicate to them.
- Love your audience. Let go of any self-conscious concerns like, “They won’t like me.” or “They’ll think I’m dumb!” and focus solely on how your ideas are going to help them. The audience isn’t going to think those things anyway; that’s just imposter syndrome! If you love your audience as you deliver your presentation, you’ll shine and they’ll love you right back!
- Master your introduction. Get right to the point. Don’t start with, “This won’t take long.” that automatically makes you sound like you’re nervous and would rather be getting drilled at the dentist. I also recommend not starting with, “Good afternoon, ladies & gentlemen” Give your audience credit that they know what time of day it is, and they know who they are. Also, it’s 2021, and no one has time for wasted words—first impressions matter, especially when you’re giving a speech. The first words out of your mouth can make or break your presentation. So start with something that gets their attention.
- Go full circle with your conclusion. Hopefully, you started with a short story or an anecdotal joke, and then you can follow up during your closing. Before you begin creating your presentation, be crystal clear on what you want your audience to do. End with your call to action.
- Use varied intonation, pauses instead of filler words, and a smooth voice. How you speak is as important, if not more than what you say. When I talk about intonation or rhythm, I want you to emphasize the essential words. A smooth voice means you need to relax your throat and vocal mechanism & let lots of air through.
- Please don’t read your PowerPoint. There’s nothing more boring and time-wasting than listening to someone and reading at the same time. Use visuals to underscore your message. Please don’t hate me for saying it, but reading from your deck is a cop-out. You’re avoiding actually talking to your audience.
- Use open body language and supplemental facial expressions. Opening your arms builds trust; let them see your palms. Smile with your whole face when appropriate. I’d recommend video recording yourself to look for anything that might be distracting. If you need help, reach out & we’ll get you all polished up in no time flat!
- Be completely relaxed. As with anything else we want to be good at, we need to be relaxed when delivering presentations. Unfortunately, we outsource our relaxation methods. We get a massage, etc., and rely on other people to relax us. Unless you hire a masseuse to massage you during your presentation, that’s not going to work. My method involves learning how to locate your tension and eliminate it.
But remember, you don’t have to do this training alone! We are here for you! Contact us to get more information or to schedule an appointment for a free evaluation.! We’ll listen to you and give you direction. There are many options!
Continue to Improve Your Presentations
Improving your public speaking skills will help you in all aspects of your life. It will help you achieve success. If you can become an effective public speaker, you’ll never be at a loss for career opportunities.
You’ll see increased success with your current career path and any others you think about taking as well. Public speaking is also one of the most important skills of entrepreneurship and leadership. And it’s not just how to stand on a stage, give a speech, do a presentation, or run a meeting.
True public speaking ability goes beyond those generalities and into the nuances of communicating clearly and effectively to individuals or groups of people.
How to practice public speaking.
Choose one or two times per day and remember to go little by little. Start by recording yourself without beating yourself up. Just remember, you didn’t know what you were doing wrong yesterday. You’re learning it today.
Tabulate what you hear on the recorder like a scientist. Did you hear too many filler words? Did you ramble on? Did you use a varied intonation pattern, or were you staccato?
Then, step by step, practice one skill at a time. If you want me to do this with you, I can. It’s well worth it because we can go very far in a short time.
If you’re reading this, it’s likely because you’ve decided you’re going to get up on stage and present at some point. And I’m guessing that you’re somewhat nervous — Welcome to the club! It’s a big one. People don’t like to admit it, but it’s normal.
The time you put into practicing your communication skills is beyond worth it. Where would you be without the countless hours you’ve spent practicing? Would you be able to play basketball or perform the skills necessary for your job?
Let’s do it together! I recommend you reach out to us and get started with a personalized course or if you’re a DIY type, take The Voice Spa. The Voice Spa teaches you to use a magnetic voice, speak concisely and at the perfect pace. It trains you to be authoritative & persuasive, yet warm and engaging.
No One Was Born with Perfect Communication Skills
Bootstrap or hire a coach. But definitely get there!
Don’t be afraid to hire a speaker coach. You spent perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars on college and grad school; you spend hundreds monthly on music lessons, gym memberships, personal training, classes, food and drinks, nights out with friends. Still, you won’t spend money on the one thing that will make you more money? Your ability to get your message across? Your ability to convince others to hire or promote you?
If you’re successfully bootstrapping it, I applaud you and I write these blogs for you. But if you are having a hard time doing it yourself, know that you’re in the majority. Most people have a hard time doing all of this themselves.
So if you’re not successful at improving your speaking skills yourself, It just means you need help. And we’re here fo you! We have courses for just about any budget. Let us know what your needs are!
13 thoughts on “How to Be a Better Presenter in 9 Easy Steps”
These are awesome tips, thank you.
I agree, I can’t stand when people read their decks! It’s so boring.
Yes, we have a responsibility to our listeners to provide them with an engaging and educational talk.
Thanks for your note!
Very useful! Many good tips are given here which will be very helpful. Thank-you!
It’s really true that colleagues are lying! They always tell each other that they did great 🙂
It’s hard to tell people that their performance was lackluster. And people haven’t been trained to know specifically what the speaker is doing correctly and incorrectly so they don’t have effective feedback anyway.
If we all could just admit that we can benefit from working on our communication skills there wouldn’t be so much shame & anxiety surrounding speaking.
Thanks for your comment 🙂
A worth reading blog on improving presenting skills. Very practical tips, I’ll surely try a few next time I deliver a presentation. Thank you.
Let me know how you’re doing with your presentations!
A worth reading blog on improving presenting skills. Your tips about mastering Core Message of the presentation are worth keeping a note. I am always nervous about my audience and what they will be thinking about me. You made it clear that audience audience must be given importance but not at the cost of belittling the idea you are presenting. So, I’ll be focusing on the idea I am presenting rather than my audience next time I am on stage. Thank you.
Thank you, John!
Practice makes perfect so why do we always think that just writing a quick speech is enough to get our message across? We tend to forget that communication is not just verbal but also the physical aspect(body language ) is very also very important. I love the mind-shift of Loving your audience. I’ve never thought about that, but I can see how it would help me feel less self-conscious.
I’m an introvert. I am so bad at communication. I have watched so many videos and read so many blogs. Yours are the best! Thank you!
No, YOU’RE the best!
I’m here for you whenever you’re ready!
Superb site and I’m so excited to get more of your articles