Public speaking can be a great way to boost your career. Deborah Jacobs combines her own expertise with that of lawyer Conrad Teitell to offer six tips for giving a great presentation.
1. Research the audience. Teitell recommends finding out as much as possible about who you’ll be speaking to—audience size, gender distribution, age group and level of experience with your topic, to tailor your presentation to the group.
2. Get comfortable in the space. Arrive well in advance of your presentation to get a feel for the room’s layout, temperature and potential tripping hazards. Make sure your lectern—if you use one—is the proper height. Check the audiovisual equipment and computers.
3. Write your own introduction. Someone will probably introduce you. Give the introducer some bullet points about yourself so the audience knows more about you.
4. Ease into the presentation. Start off with a joke, anecdote or notable fact from history to warm up the crowd.
5. Keep it interesting. Tell a story or quote a poem or a piece of literature that will illustrate your point. Varying your speech to include informational and entertaining content will keep the audience from getting bored and tuning out.
6. Don’t rely on notes. Overuse of a PowerPoint or notecards will make you look unprofessional and pull your eye contact away from the audience. Practice enough that you know the material without relying on them.
— Adapted from “Six Ways To Be An Amazing Public Speaker,” Deborah Jacobes, Forbes.