Consider the following scenarios:
- You have been tasked by your boss to deliver a sales presentation.
- As head of department, you will be presenting last quarter’s performance to the board of directors.
- At the coming company’s product launch, you will be delivering the opening speech.
Regardless of which above situations you are in, the question you would be asking yourself is, “How do I deliver a presentation/speech that interests, impresses and inspires my audience to take the desired action?”
You know the importance to speak with confidence to any audience and the ability to deliver an engaging and enriching presentation can accelerate your career growth.
Here are 10 keys using C.O.N.F.I.D.E.N.C.E. as an acronym, on how you can speak with confidence:
C – Craft the flow of your presentation
The way you craft and structure the flow of your presentation determines whether you can interest your audience and lead them from the start to your desired action at the end. Before you launch into the main content, the audience must first be convinced “WHY” they should listen to you.
O – Know the Objective of your presentation
Do you know the objective of your presentation? At the end of your presentation, what is the desired outcome you want to see in your audience? Are there any actions that you like them to take? Knowing your specific objectives will help you to deliver a clear message.
N – Nurture your competency
Everyone can develop his own competency in public speaking and presentation skills. You can acquire the necessary skills through reading books or training, and accumulate sufficient “stage time” to be good in delivering presentations. Every great speaker has recorded hundreds of hours on stage before he can shine on stage.
F – Focus on your audience
What do you focus on when you are on stage? Most inexperienced presenters make the mistake of focusing on delivering what they have prepared, neglecting their audience. Experienced presenters focused on their audience. Keep your audience in mind before you speak, and in sight when you are speaking.
I – Imagine the perfect delivery
You may feel nervous and jittery before speaking on stage. Instead of having negative thoughts like “What if I forget my script?” or “What if the audience don’t respond?”, empower your confidence with positive imagination. Close your eyes for a few minutes and “see”, “hear” and “feel” yourself speaking with confidence on stage.
D – Design your Mental Preparation Routine
Mental preparation routine is a technique used by professional athletes before competition. It is a sequence of actions to activate a positive confident mental state. What is something that will make you feel good before you go on stage? For example, listening to your favourite song, visualisation, drinking a cup of coffee etc.
E – Evaluate yourself only after your presentation
We often evaluate ourselves before we do the task. Avoid thinking how you will fail your presentation because you had failed in the previous one. Once you are done with your preparation and rehearsal, just trust that you will deliver a good presentation.
N – Stay in the Now
Whether it is before or during your presentation, stay in the present moment. You will get more nervous before the presentation if you keep thinking of what to say or what will happen when you go on stage. Stay in the now. Listen to the current speaker or enjoy your meal. That will take your mind away from the presentation and calm you down.
C – Connect with your audience
From all the speakers whom you have heard, a few of them must have left a deep positive impression because they connected strongly with you. You felt they understood you and empathised with you. They intrigued your mind and touched your heart. Do the same, speak into the minds and hearts of your audience.
E – Engage your audience
To keep your audience engaged throughout your presentation, use a variety of tools and techniques to engage their senses. The more senses you could engage, they more they will stay engaged. Use slides, videos, music and activities to keep your audience glued to your presentation for maximum effectiveness.
Article by Jensen Siaw, a Performance Breakthrough Coach and Communication Expert with Richard Gavriel Speaker Management. Jensen has spoken on multiple platforms including TV, radio and mega events with audience size of over 7,000. You can contact him at Richard@RichardGavriel.com.