Stand up presentations are your golden opportunity. Probably. Yet most people don’t willingly volunteer for them. For some they are one of the most stressful things you ever have to do.
However, if you think about it, everyone of any significance does presentations : TV presenters, actors & actresses, rock stars, politicians and leading business people. They all communicate their message using the medium of presenting. So it is probably worth trying to master this skill. And of course, once you have, you stand out from the millions who never will.
Here are 3 tips.
Identify what your audience wants
The most important thing about your presentation is to work out what your audience’s interest is and what they want to find out about. Always aim it at them. Don’t go into too much detail, but keep it focused on them. It it’s a work presentation, use some facts and some figures by all means, but extract the conclusions – don’t go into great detail.
If it’s a social or hobby based presentation, make it light hearted where possible and entertaining. You can always ask for help from others if necessary.
Know your stuff
Once you’ve written your presentation, rehearse it, by standing and going through it at least 3 times. This will start to get you familiar with the words, and the style. The more you’ve rehearsed it, and know your stuff, the more confident you’ll feel when you finally stand up to speak.
Time your presentation
Once you’ve rehearsed it, run through it again, and time yourself while you’re delivering it in a room on your own. This way you will know how long it will take. If you’ve been given 20 minutes in a busy agenda to do your presentation, then aim for around 15 minutes of material. That will allow 5 minutes or so for comments, questions etc. After all you probably want to stimulate debate. Even if you’ve got 30 minutes of great material, cut it back radically. They won’t want to listen for 30 minutes.
I always find it is easy to get resentful of people who go on too long. They may be stealing some of your break time, or of course one person overrunning means others suddenly have less time. It’s not really fair is it?
Your audience easily gets bored and switches off.
So find out how long the host wants you to speak for and then ensure you fit the allocation. Everyone will appreciate it.
Associated Learning Systems is a business dedicated to helping individuals improve their communication skills and business performance through life learning. While we don’t currently offer products on how to do stand-up presentations, we have experience in this area, so if you need help to do stand up presentations, contact us via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org