An oldie but goodie from the past — one of my most requested articles. Enjoy!
My 13 year-old son is presenting today at school – his 8th year graduation presentation. He’s been working on it for months – a 32 page research paper AND a 30 minute presentation to the school and parents (that’s more than I did in college!).
This morning, I threw together some presentation points for him to brush up on during his ride to school. I thought I would share them with you:
1. Smile. Smile. Smile.
The more that you smile, the more relaxed you’ll be. In addition, your audience will also feel relaxed and better engage with your presentation.
2. Have Fun.
Most presenters are afraid to have fun with the audience. You have a wonderful sense of humor (from your Mom and Dad) – use it! But not too much (like your Dad).
3. Move Around.
Most presenters are stiff and formal like Frankenstein. You need to engage the audience by moving around – move from the left side of the screen to the right side. Move closer to the audience (when you are making an important point) and then move back. No dancing though – keep it graceful.
4. Use Your Hands.
Your mouth should not be the only thing moving. Keep your hands moving at all times. Use them to shape your points, move them gracefully. Not too much – don’t act as if you have a medical condition.
5. Keep Eye Contact With The Audience.
Don’t just stare at the pretty girls – have your eyes bounce around from one audience member to another, smile (see tip #1), and keep bouncing your eyes. You will get everyone’s attention – that’s what you’re shooting for.
6. Try Not To Read The Screen.
You can glance quickly at it – get your point – then turn back to the audience and paraphrase the information. You’ve been practicing for many days (hopefully!) – trust yourself and instincts – you WILL remember each point.
7. Take It Easy – You Are Not Sprinting, It’s A Marathon.
You have lots of time – don’t speed through it. Frequently catch yourself and SLOW IT DOWN. Everyone tends to speed up their speaking – slow it down and have fun. Pause often, catch your breath, and then move onto the next point.
8. Engage The Audience (if you can).
Ask them questions like: “How many of you have had this problem?” – Raise your hand and invite the audience members to raise their hand too.
9. Drink Water.
Have a water bottle up there – trust me – you WILL have dry mouth. Drink at your pauses. Having a dry mouth coughing fit in front of an audience is not pretty.
10. You’re Going To Knock It Out Of The Park.
Trust Me. I see all types of presenters all the time. Most are awful – but some really shine. The reason? They not only believe and love the subject their speaking about — they also truly enjoy to engage an audience. You have that quality in your DNA.
Much Love – Dad
P.S. My son will be following this post all day – so please leave a special comment! Thanks!
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