We all do public speaking. Some of us do it willingly, some unwillingly. Some people like public speaking although if surveys are accurate, most of us dread it more than death or root canals.
If you are a startup CEO, making presentations is a huge part of your life. The same goes for people in roles such as product manager, marketing manager, director of marketing or sales, etc. Communicating information and making persuasive arguments are a vitally important part of your job, perhaps the most important part.
Here are three tips for more effective public speaking from the referenced article:
- Don’t prowl the stage. Don’t hide behind a lectern, either. Map your spots for various points in the presentation and rehearse them along with the pitch.
- Vary your voice speed. It makes you more interesting.
- Realize that people process information in different ways. Design your presentation and adapt your style to accommodate the “why people,” the “what people,” the “how people,” and the “what-if?” people.
Here are a few “bonus tips” from the article:
- Have one, concise, clear call to action at the end of your presentation. Tell people exactly what you want them to do.
- No meta comments (“The projector cut off my slide.”). Keep them to yourself as they break the narrative and cause the audience to lose focus.
- Edit your content beforehand. Your audience does not need to hear (and they won’t remember) everything about your topic.
- Stop using PowerPoint as a crutch. The audience knows how to read. You add zero value by reading bullet points off a slide. My favorite quote from the article:
“Frank Sinatra once said “if you need anything more than a microphone and a spotlight, you’re an amateur.””
Takeaways: Public speaking and presentation skills are vitally important for just about any business professional. These simple tips and small accomodations can make you a more effective public speaker. Remember that your presentation is about your audience, not you.