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5 Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking

public speaking

Public speaking, and presenting is something that some of us love to get up and do. However, for others, it can be a very nerve wrecking experience that can fill many full of dread.

No matter what your experience level is towards public speaking, it is important you get your presentation right – no one enjoys having to sit through a presentation that is below par.

In this article, allow me to share with you my top five most common presentation mistakes, and how by avoiding them, you can improve your presentation skills and become an incredible public speaker:

Under Preparation

Failing to prepare is preparing to fail – or so they say. Even the most dynamic, fun, and engaging speakers all prepare days and weeks in advance. Normally, during public speaking nerves stem from the feeling of under preparation.

So, before your next presentation take the time to practice your presentation. Record it and watch it back if you have to. Make sure that the whole presentation flows, is full of value, and that you can reel it off at the drop of a hat.

Not Engaging the Audience

Ask yourself this; are you presenting for you, or your audience?

Of course, it is the audience. The reason you are speaking is for your audience and so it is safe to say you should engage them as best you can, and to lay down the foundations as to what they can expect from the talk.

We have all been in a talk or presentation when we have no idea when it is due to end, or what will be involved – and this can lead us to feel restless. So help your audience out and let them know what to expect, and when!

Over Indulging a Visual

Does ‘death by PowerPoint’ ring a bell to you? What happens when you stick on a PowerPoint slide that is FULL of content? Your audience stop listening to you, and they read the slide.

So, on your slides, stick to bullet points, headlines and photos if possible. Your audience are there to listen to you speak – so let them!

Avoiding Eye Contact

It does not matter the size of the crowd; the better a personal connection you can make with your audience the better. You will be remembered easier, and your audience will go away full of praise for you.

Keep your notes to a minimum, and avoid staring at the walls, the floor, the ceiling and the presentation. The more eye contact, the better.

Not Preparing for the Venue

How embarrassing is it when you sit down, ready to take in a great talk and the speaker can’t get the projector to work. Next thing you know the clicker stops working. And then, the microphone drops out so the people in the back can’t hear.

It does not matter how good your public speaking is, and how well put together your presentation is; it is these small feelings that your audience will remember the most. So as part of your preparation, arrive to the venue early, familiarise yourself with the space and the equipment and if you get the chance, do a practice run in the same space with the same equipment as you will on the big day!

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