Weak delivery can undermine your presentation and cause your audience to lose interest in what you have to say. Here are 8 strategies for delivering your presentation with confidence:
1. Use a strong voice
Speak loudly enough to be heard - use a microphone if one is available. Speak clearly, enunciate your words and don’t rush.
2. Don’t forget to breathe
Make sure your voice is supported by breathing fully. Breathe from your core, your diaphragm, so the air can sustain you all the way through the end of the sentence.
3. Stand up straight
Stand up straight, not stiffly and keep your head and shoulders back. Plant your feet on the floor with your weight evenly distributed on both feet rather than leaning on one leg or nervously pacing.
4. Make eye contact
Look at different people in the audience. Making eye contact helps you engage people and demonstrates that you know your material well.
Use your hands for natural gestures that illustrate what you’re saying. When not gesturing, your hands should hang comfortably at your sides rather than in your pockets or behind your back.
Smiling helps to relax you (and the audience) and allows you to make a connection to the audience.
7. Eliminate weak words
Using too many filler words like “um” and “ah” makes you sound less confident. Overusing words like “kinda” and “sorta” also undermines your authority.
8. Eliminate “throwaways”
Throwaways are the words or phrases with little meaning that you throw in at the end of a sentence because your brain is thinking about what comes next. You still need to finish the current sentence so you say a throwaway like “and that kind of stuff” or “and you know what I mean.” An excessive use of these throwaways makes your language sounds sloppy.
If you follow these 8 strategies, you will sound confident when you give a presentation and demonstrate that you have something of interest to share with your audience.
Gilda Bonanno is a speaker, trainer and coach who helps people improve their presentation and communication skills so they can be more successful. Sign up to receive more public speaking and networking strategies from Gilda's e-newsletter: http://www.gildabonanno.com/Pages/newsletter.aspx
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