Joined: 13 Dec 2006
Location: Cleveland, OH
|Posted: Dec Sun 17, 2006 2:43 pm Post subject: Deliver Presentations
The Top 10 Tips to Deliver Presentations with Confidence and Credibility
Here are ten tips that will increase your ability to exude confidence and credibility and have the audience attentive to your every word. Presentation is (almost) everything.
1. Know your Audience.
Who are THEY? What do they expect from you? What value do you provide? Get into character and tailor your comments or discussion specifically to your audience and over-deliver by providing more than they expect. Hilary Swank in her Oscar-winning performance in Boys Don't Cry stayed in character as a male for weeks at a time. You don't have to go this far, but play the part to successfully convince your audience.
2. Dress UP.
Clothing doesn't have to be expensive, but certainly must be appropriate for the occasion and fit well. Get a good tailor. Generally, plan to dress one notch above your audience. In a traditional environment, dress on the conservative side with a neutral color on bottom adding a bright color around your face in a tie, scarf or blouse. However, sometimes you may want to make a statement. A computer consultant presenting a new technology to a group of government senior managers in navy blue suits wore a short black leather skirt, leather jacket and high black boots. She presented a futurist image in her dress that translated to the image of her product. Be cautious with this idea, yet take an occasional risk and evaluate the results.
3. Stand UP and be Counted.
The way we carry ourselves projects our self-image. A natural alignment of the body facilitates grace and is better than the old "shoulders back, chin up" approach. For a natural stance, use this dancer's trick: elongate the torso, then place your shoulders over your hips and heels. Squarely face your audience, and if standing, space your feet about 2 feet apart. This natural, yet erect, stature exudes professionalism; plus it allows air space in your chest for increased tonality.
4. Speak UP and Listen!
Using your full voice communicates confidence. Studies show that powerful speech is conveyed 7% by words, 38% by tonality and 55% by body language. Speak clearly and loud enough that if the microphone were to fritz, you could still be heard. When we need a drum roll in life, a violin simply will not do. Listening is as important as speaking. Practice listening beyond the words and affirm your understanding through words and body language. Stephen Covey and Ken Blanchard agree that being heard is as important on the needs level as oxygen is on the physical level. Try to think of a time when someone really listened to your point of view. How did you feel?
5. Attraction is Action.
Take up space. (Studies show that women often limit their range of motion.) Spreading papers out on the table, walking across the room, using hand gestures and putting your hands on your hips when you speak all convey strong body language that translates into confidence and credibility.
6. Be Excellent.
Be a master of your craft, learn everything you can and know your material fully. Asking colleagues for feedback can offer good insights. Consider creative alternatives to get the presentation and business skills you need. A recent trend is for executives to attend acting schools to develop work-related skills to overcome inhibitions, project confidence and improve communication skills! Other executives are enlisting the help of a business coach as a collaborative partner and sounding board for management, communication and leadership skill building.
7. Exude Energy and Enthusiasm.
Energy and enthusiasm are infectious; yet don't require an extroverted personality to be clearly communicated. The secret is to be genuine and authentic, and confidently share what you believe. Sales professionals know that commitment to the product is key to making the sale. Your enthusiasm will sway the audience your way.
8. Connect with Others.
If you want to win over an audience, remember that facts and figures may be important, but they're often secondary, says Joe Keefe, head of Chicago's Second City Communications. The best orators...communicate their emotions. Convey your passion and be open, friendly and honestly interested in others.
9. Be FEARless.
Fear can be defined as False Evidence Appearing Real. Try to embrace fear as a feeling that isn't necessarily bad. Buzz Mauro of the Theatre Lab in Washington comments that the trick is to channel all that nervous energy into something positive. Think of your jitters not so much as nervousness but excitement. It makes you sharper and stronger.
10. SHOW AWESOME CHARISMA.
Smile, confident in who you are. Hold a personal vision of yourself as an irresistibly attractive professional person of integrity, wit and intelligence. Others will follow your lead.
Submitted by Judith Rutkin, who can be reached at the web at http://www.icoachamerica.com © 1997, 98, 99, 2000 Coach U.
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