MPLS Division: Presentation delivery tips
Key Tip: Watch good speakers and analyse what makes them good – and vice versa
- Rehearse. Ask for feedback on your delivery from friends. Ask them to comment on voice, body language, nervous tics that distract
- Check out your timing
- Check out domestic arrangements – loos, fire exits, times of breaks, accessibility – does your audience need to know this?
- Check and double-check the technology with the venue.
- Think about how you look. Are you portraying the image that you want people to see?
- More importantly, think about things that will distract audience from your message.
- Think about where a microphone will clip.
- Breathe deeply, relax. Do a little exercise to use up some adrenalin
Starting and performing
- Eye contact, smile, deep breath. Stand up straight, greet the audience.
- Take your time – if you act confident, you will be. If you act confident, the audience will feel safe.
- Speak to your audience, not to your slides.
- Think about where to stand. Don’t block any visuals. Standing behind a table or lectern may feel more protected, but cuts you off from the audience.
- Don’t believe you can think things through while you’re delivering. Until you’re very practised, you can’t.
- Beware irritating ticks – physical and verbal – they distract from the message.
- Don’t sound as though you’re reading from a script. Use notes only so that you talk naturally.
- Don’t try to get rid of the butterflies – get them flying in formation.
- Remember if you know your stuff then you know more than them.
- Be clear – why are you here? What is the core intention? Remember this is a performance, so enthusiasm, confident stance. Stand still. You’ll lose the audience if you appear nervous
- Breathe, speak slowly. Remember eye contact.
- Be in control
- Use your voice – vary tone, volume, speed
- How to handle people talking among themselves?
- Pausing is fine.
- It’s OK to make a mistake or not know the answer to a question.
- If someone is rude, be measured and charming and diplomatic.
- If no-one asks questions, move on.
Alison Trinder October 2020