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Public speaking basics October 26, 2008

Posted by rickbron in Bronder On People, Confidence.
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p5130012.jpg Public speaking means speaking in front of groups — small, medium and large sizes. Most first line managers will need to speak effectively in front of small groups; usually 5-20 people. Even with a group this small, there can be intense fear and nervousness. The Big Dogz know how to overcome the fear of public speaking. They use a two-step process; prepare and practice with feedback.

 

Here are some tips to help you prepare:

  1. Know your audience. What do they know about your topic? What do they need to know? Be careful that you do not make assumptions about what they need to know.
  2. Determine your approach. Is this presentation to inform, persuade, or maybe to deliver some news that is not welcome?
  3. Generate content. What do you know about the subject? What do they want to know? What are the facts? What is opinion?
  4.  Organize the content so that it flows naturally for the audience. You may want to build your case logically or you may want to generate excitement that results in a commitment to your objective. It is an effective technique to draw the flow on paper or use software to portray the flow. Run through the flow several times to make sure it accomplishes your objective.
  5. Using examples and models to illustrate your key points helps the listener understand your presentation.
  6. Select the presentation medium you will use. Some choices are:
    1. PowerPoint
    2. Flip charts
    3. White board
    4. Prepared handouts
    5. Just you, talking.
  7. Create the material you will use to help you make your presentation. Follow established content guideline relative to the information displayed.

 

Now you have a presentation. It is time to practice. Those of you who have read my entries before know that I am a firm believer that practice makes permanent, feedback makes perfect. The most effective way to practice is to arrange a feedback session with a trusted colleague. Ask them to focus on how you can make your presentation more effective. Keep practicing until you are confident it will work.

 

If you are not able to arrange for a colleague to provide feedback, do it yourself. Self-feedback in front of a mirror is one of the most effective techniques for improving your presentation. You can see how others will see you. This technique has saved me many times. If this is an especially important presentation and you have a video recorder, then by all means use the technology to help you become more effective.

 

Practice your presentation until you are comfortable.

 

There is always a sense of nervousness at the beginning of a presentation. Standing in front of a group, knowing what you will say, how you will say it and when you will punctuate your talk with examples will fill you with confidence.  As you connect with the audience and see the signs they are engaged with you, your fears will diminish.

 

The Big Dogz know that taking the time to prepare and the time to practice with feedback are the keys to being successful in front of groups. Before that next presentation, take a little time to prepare and get some feedback driven practice. I am positive you will get results that are more effective.

 

Send me an email at rbronder@gmail.com to let me know how your presentation was a success!

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