Tips for (almost) painless public speaking

by | Apr 7, 2019 | Uncategorized | 0 comments

  1. Be prepared: make sure you know the material you are presenting well.
    • Not knowing your topic will result in you feeling nervous for reasons that you could have dealt with.
    • Make sure you know what key information you want your listeners to learn or understand
    • Create a handout for your audience and use this yourself as your prompt – don’t write down too much or the temptation will be for everyone to just read what’s in front of them.
  2. Give your listeners time: they need to digest the information you’re giving them
    • use short phrases with little content to give their brains time to process what you’re telling them. For example….
      1. Another reason why this is true is that ….
      2. I’ve explained x, now I’m going to explain how y relates to it
      3. Next, it’s important to consider x. x means …. And is important because…
  1. Understand what a presentation actually is: this is not a spontaneous conversation.
    • You can predict what you need to say and you can predict to a greater extent what questions you are likely to be asked.
    • This means that you can carefully plan what you need to say. You can practise the phrasing of the sentences, how to pronounce difficult words, how to explain challenging concepts and so on

Linked to this …. A presentation has for more in common with an essay than it does with a chat with your mates. As such, the listener will expect a clear introduction, clearly signposted arguments and a clear conclusion

4. Focus on your body language:

  • This includes your tone of voice, how you stand, the volume of your voice.
  • Support yourself to feel confident by not making things difficult – wear clothes you feel good in, make sure you have a drink with you
  • Make sure you don’t speak too quickly.

 5. Remember why you’re giving a presentation at all – for the audience not for you:

  • This means that it’s important that you think about the needs of your audience and make it easy for them to understand the key messages of the presentation.
  • Do not confuse anyone with unusual vocabulary
  • Keep your sentences as short and simple as you can and introduce complexity only as it is needed, not to show off your amazing brilliance


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