1. BECOME THE EXPERT
No matter what the topic, arm yourself with the information, background knowledge and context necessary to be the expert of your message. It is difficult to speak confidently about something you do not understand in its entirety and you don’t want to be caught unaware.
2. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Whether a small or large group, knowing who you are speaking to will allow you to give the appropriate context and tailor your presentation delivery accordingly. Know why your topic is, or should be, important to them.
3. BE PRESENT
Take a moment to actually plant your feet on the floor and breathe before you begin. Look around the room, gather your thoughts and then start with a sense of purpose. The moment in which you collect yourself allows the audience to focus their attention on you.
4. GIVE REASON
In the first few moments you must give the audience a reason to listen to you. This hook tells them that there is a significant benefit to them if they simply pay attention.
5. MAKE IT PERSONAL
Use 3 seconds of eye contact to connect with people and allow them to feel like you are speaking to them personally. Start at the back left corner of the room and connect with people from back to front, left to right in a zigzag fashion… repeating as necessary.
6. MAKE IT A PASSIONATE PRESENTATION DELIVERY
Believe in your subject matter and believe in its relevance for your audience. If you believe, they will too.
7. KEEP IT REAL
Do not get frustrated if you stumble on your words or make a mistake. It is likely that everybody in the room has blundered before. Being relatable allows your audience to connect with you at a much deeper level; your ability to recover can actually make you more compelling.
8. PACE YOURSELF
Pace Yourself – Know what your allocated time is and prepare accordingly to stay within it. Plan for questions when applicable and organize yourself in a way that allows for a late start if something out of your control occurs. Out of respect for the audience, and to highlight your professionalism, being timely is essential.