TAP In with Tristan : Five Tips to Help You Present Better

Tristan talks about a couple of tips that can help you with public speaking and presenting on this entry of TAP In with Tristan. According to John Bowe, a speech trainer, there is a single mental trick that takes just 15 minutes or less – listen to the tip to find out what it is!

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Tristan: What’s going on, Living Corporate? It’s Tristan, and I want to thank you for tapping back in with me as I provide some tips and advice for professionals. Today, let’s talk about a couple of tips that can help you with public speaking and presenting.

As professionals grow in their careers, presenting and public speaking becomes a more prevalent aspect of the job. But speech and presentation anxiety is one of the most common social fears, affecting 15 – 30% of the general population. If you fall in that category, you probably want to know how to overcome it, so it doesn’t hinder your career progression. According to John Bowe, a speech trainer, there is a single mental trick that takes just 15 minutes or less, and that is to pretend you’re in the audience listening to yourself. Here are a few tips and what to remember when imagining yourself as the audience.

First, greet them. I know it sounds simple, but when you’re nervous, you may completely forget or omit this, making your audience lose confidence in you and starting everything off on the wrong foot. Let’s be honest; the people you’re speaking to have an ego. So don’t be afraid to stroke that ego by giving them a proper greeting or thanks for being there.

Second, get to the point and set a roadmap. No one likes a presenter who talks about how nervous they are, drums up small talk, or tells some unrelated story when they first get on stage. People have relatively short attention spans, so skip all that and then help them concentrate by introducing them to your topic, telling them why it’s important to them, and providing a roadmap on how you will spend your time. Doing this sets expectations and helps people relax and enjoy the ride.

Third, make sure you can be seen and heard in every sense. We’ve all been to presentations, meetings, or speeches where you can barely see or hear the speaker or read the slides because the text is too small. Don’t make your attendees put in more work to understand your ideas, use good lighting and a decent microphone. Speak slowly, enunciate, and use short words, sentences, and paragraphs. Also, try to get rid of filler words such as “um,” “ah,” and “like.”

Fourth, share your thoughts or feelings. It’s the worst when someone just presents data and reads directly off the slides. Your job is not just to read off slides, but to add human context and connect people to what you’re speaking about. The information doesn’t speak for itself; audiences want to know at least a small bit about what you’re thinking and feeling about the content.

Lastly, make sure to end your speech with an ending. It sounds just as simple as the first tip, but it’s important. Have you ever heard someone end a speech with, “Yeah, so I guess, you know, that’s it. Um, does anyone uh have any questions?” That doesn’t come off as authoritative. Take a moment in advance to write out a conclusion that reminds the audience what the speech was about and has a call to action, then work on memorizing it. Remember, this is your last impression, give them something to remember.

This tip was adapted from an article on CNBC titled, “Bad at public speaking? Use this mental trick that takes just 15 minutes, says speech expert,” by John Bowe. It was brought to you by Tristan of Layfield Resume Consulting. Check us out on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook @layfieldresume, or connect with me, Tristan Layfield, on LinkedIn.

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