Presentation, presentation, presentation is the name of the Publlic Speaking game!

You may be the most knowledgeable person in the world on a given subject, you may be a PHD with clusters, but if your presentation of the presentation does not have presentation skills your presentation will fail! “Now that was fun!”

Have you gone to a seminar you were really excited about and if you made it to the end, got nothing out of it? Lets take a look. When the presentation started this is what your heard; Welcooome toooday. . . . . . we will talk abouuut . . . . . .blah de blah, blah blah, blahblahblah. “Monotone, I hate monotone!”, “Drives me absolutely crazy!” Standing in one spot, like a mannequin and has the excitement of watching ice melt. Got the picture?

Continuing the series of “So You Want To Become A Public Speaker?” we are going to dive into Presentation. Not to be confused with the presentation itself, but how its presented.

Remember, a presentation is a performance, like an actor. Always bring your “A” game. No “B” movie acting here! How you are being perceived is critical to your longevity in this business.

Dress properly for the occasion. As stated in a previously published article in this series; you can always dress down, but not up.

If your topic is serious, be serious, but not stiff. Present the desired image to your audience. Be enthusiastic, confident, carry yourself with pride, but not cocky. Remain calm. Appear relaxed, even if you feel nervous. Remember the duck story; calm and collected on top of the water, even though your feet are going like heck below the surface.

Speak slowly, articulate clearly, and show appropriate emotion and feeling relating to your topic. But dont be phony your audience will pick up on that immediately. Take the time to connect with your audience. (Refer back to “Public Speaking Pre Preparation” in the area of “know your audience”.) Speak to the person furthest away from you to make sure your voice is heard from back of the room. Its okay and encouraged to ask that furthest person in the back if you can be heard. Fluctuate the tone of your voice and dramatize if necessary. If sound equipment is required, as was determined during your pre preparation, adjust accordingly. DO NOT TALK MONOTONE!

I was taught to speak with conviction as if I really believed in what I was saying. Throughout my public speaking career I have changed that teaching to, “Speak with conviction as I truly believe in what Im saying!”

The material you present verbally should have the same structure as a written research paper, i.e. INTRODUCTION to BODY (strong supporting arguments, accurate and up-to-date information) to CONCLUSION (re-state intro, summarize, and a logical conclusion) with a verbal presentation, add a questions and answer period.

Body language is critical. Standing, walking and moving around using appropriate hand gestures is a MUST. Never present a presentation sitting down or standing still, reading from a prepared presentation. I encourage you not to use a lectern. “Here, check this out” American Heritage Dictionary – lec·tern (lk’tYrn) A stand that serves as a support for the notes or books of a speaker. Now heres my definition – “A lectern is a crutch for the unprepared speaker.”