Ten top tips to help you plan and deliver a successful presentation
1. Know your material. Speak about a topic you’re interested in and know a lot about. Reinforce your message with facts and statistics, if possible.
2. Make it personal. Use humour, personal anecdotes and conversational language to make your speech engaging.
3. Practice makes permanent. Rehearse your speech aloud using any equipment and/or visual aids you’ll use during your presentation. Rehearse as often as you can.
4. Time yourself. Time your speech every time you rehearse it to ensure you don’t go over the time limit.
5. Pace yourself. People tend to rush when they’re nervous, so practice keeping your speech at a calm, steady pace.
6. Arrive early. Give yourself enough time to get acquainted with the stage or presentation area, and test the microphone and any visual aids you’ll be using.
7. Relax. Breathe and stretch before taking the stage. Pause for a few seconds, smile and count to three before speaking.
8. Visualise your success. Imagine yourself giving your speech: your voice is loud, clear and confident. Imagine hearing the audience’s applause – it will boost your confidence.
9. Trust your audience. The audience isn’t your enemy – they want you to be interesting, stimulating, informative and entertaining. They’re rooting for you.
10. Don’t apologise. If you make a mistake, there’s no need to say you’re sorry. Pick up where you left off and keep going.