Updated: Nov 19
It is very important to ensure that your next speaking engagement is successful, captivate, and engage with the audience. Give them a reason to remember you by and help them understand why they went to see you present in the first place.
While there are many individuals performing as speakers at conferences, events, talk shows, and many other types of functions, it is not uncommon to have experienced speeches absent of life and unmemorable. This article aims at highlighting behaviors to avoid and best practices to keep in mind in preparation for your next presentation.
Communication is the art of successfully transmitting a concise message to a specific audience. It is more than what is being delivered but how it is delivered. Communication can be verbal, non-verbal written, and visual. Effective communication is taking that exchange of information to the next level, making sure the recipients of the message understand it and have a clear definition of the next steps.
Great Communicators. –
Throughout history, we can identify several renowned individuals with exceptional communication skills which have made them remembered by generations. Some examples include; Mahatma Gandhi, Bill Graham, Martin Luther King Jr., Warren Buffet, Bill Clinton, and Winston Churchill among others. These individuals employed emotional communication with the audience through nonverbal communications, without distraction with rehearsed gestures.
An effective communicator always engages with his/her audience. Let’s review key common communication mistakes and top tips to improve your communication skills.
Communication Common Mistakes
Read the script. – It is one of the worst qualities of a presenter. The audience can read your slides. They are expecting to hear what insights you can share about your presentation points.
Stop the train before getting to the station. – If you ever find yourself in a situation where you forget the presentation, take a minute, pause, and move forward. Don’t quit in the middle of the presentation.
Have a monotonous tone of speech. – Remember to deliver the presentation in a memorable way. When keeping the same tone throughout the entire presentation, the audience tends to get disconnected and the message get’s lost. When this happens, you will not be remembered, and if you are it will not be for a positive reason.
Do not validate your facts. – Ensure to do your research and confirm your data before incorporating them into the presentation.
Communication Best Practices
1. Kick-off with a powerful opening line. This is your first opportunity to grab the audience's attention. Take it!
2. Address the entire auditorium while talking to each participant individually. – As part of your presentation preparation do your research. Know which profiles are in the room. Use keywords that will resonate with the smaller groups and individuals.
3. Develop your speech around the main idea. Regardless of how long is your speech, it should be built around 1 or 2 main ideas. The fewer the better. The rest of the presentation should be used to support your main idea.
4. Develop your delivery style. – Find the style that makes you comfortable and master it.
5. Control your emotions. – Do not let your feelings drive your delivery. Use them as a vehicle to reach your audience.
6. Read your audience. Look around the room and read people’s faces and body languages, especially at the end of each presentation point. The audience typically tells you if they are following you.
7. Do not waste the audience's time. Remember we all have busy schedules. Make sure to share valuable insights. Avoid stating the obvious.
8. Do not use fancy words when they are not needed. Go straight to the point.
9. Be confident and creative. Smile during your presentation. Find the right time to connect with the audience in a non-verbal way.
10. Practice your material. Rehearse your content at least 3 times prior to the big day. Practice your timing, your flow, and your overall delivery.
To summarize, effective communication does not happen overnight, it is like a good carpenter masterpiece. It takes practice, knowing your material, knowing your customer, and polishing your delivery until your final product is received by the final user.
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