Do you fidget with a ring, fuss with your hair, or fiddle with car keys in your pocket when you’re nervous and speaking in front of a group? These distracting, nervous habits can ruin an otherwise good business presentation. They chip away at your credibility and take away from the impact of your message.
So what should you do to avoid such distractions? Well, you could try to remember not to do these distracting things, but you’ve got enough on your mind. A better strategy is to simply remove as many distractions as possible so that you can focus on your content and delivery. If you fidget with your ring, remove it (but be sure to put it in a VERY safe place). If you fuss with your hair, tie it back. If you fiddle with your car keys, empty your pocket.
The more your audience can focus on your content and on your confident delivery, the more effective you will be as a public speaker or business presenter.
Data is an important part of business and business presentations. But numbers can make your audience disengage if you don’t present them in an understandable and relatable way.
Here are 3 ways to take the numb out of your numbers in public speaking:
1) Remove data that are not part of your main point. Sometimes an entire spreadsheet is put on a slide when only one data point is really important. If you have to put all the data on the slide, try putting the relevant data in a different color or put a circle around it.
2) Provide context. Explain to your audience why the data you’re presenting matters? How will it impact the business? How will it impact the future? Tell a short story to illustrates the point. Stories give life to data and make the point you are trying to make more memorable. Show some passion for the key points you are making about your data. If you’re not excited about your data, your audience won’t be either. Data combined with a story are a powerful 1-2 punch.
3) Make numbers comparable to something familiar. Show your audience what you’re talking about by comparing your data to something that the audience can easily relate to. Here’s one of my favorite comparisons that really makes the point: “If every dollar equals 1 second, then $1 million is about 11 hours. By comparison, $1 billion would be about 32 years.”
When you take the numb out of the numbers, you’ll have a more impactful business presentation that will turn heads, win hearts, and get results.
As in all public speaking endeavors, it’s crucial when making a business presentation to connect with your audience. That becomes more difficult if you find yourself trapped behind a lectern running PowerPoint slides. A lectern is a piece of furniture that comes between you and your audience and anything that separates you from your audience detracts from your ability to connect with them.
Solution: Get yourself a presentation remote control and a fresh set of batteries. This will allow you to move about the room freely and better interact and connect with your audience.
Before your presentation, test the remote to make sure it will work from the sides and back of the room. Make sure you know what all the buttons do.
What do you do if you don’t have a presentation remote control? Ask a colleague or friend to handle the keyboard and advance slides for you. When doing so, avoid overusing saying “next slide please” and instead cue your helper with a simple head nod or “the look.”
Remember: presentations are always, always, always about connecting with your audience. A presentation remote or a trusted helper will give you a better chance to connect with your audience and deliver a more powerful message.
Before you can conquer your fear of public speaking, it’s important to understand exactly what it is that you’re fearful of. Take our quick survey to help you better understand where you are strong and where you need help.