4 Techniques For Quickly Becoming a Memorable Presenter
Entrepreneurs often find themselves making presentations. They’re one of the best ways of getting investor support, keeping boards of directors up-to-date, training employees, and asking focus groups for feedback. If your brand gets big enough, you may even find yourself making bold presentations to your customer-base, a trend pioneered decades ago by Steve Jobs. Unfortunately, not every business owner is a natural-born public speaker, and even natural-born public speakers usually need tips for making their raw talent shine. Here are some easy ways to turn yourself into a memorable presenter:
- Get personal
- Interact with your audience
- Consider the setting
- Self-care for confidence
No one wants to be stuck in a room listening to a presentation that has obviously been reused time and time again. It’s one of the best ways of ensuring your audience tunes out and forgets about you the moment you leave the stage. Does that mean you have to rewrite your presentation every time? Not at all! In many cases, the content you’re sharing doesn’t change much from group to group. For example, investors and board members expect profit statistics in your presentations, which remain the same, no matter your audience. However, you can become a memorable presenter by tailoring the content around the stats for the people listening. Don’t be afraid to share relevant stories they can relate to. Inject some humour when you know you can. And let your personality shine, so you become someone to listen to rather than a figurehead spitting out over-used, generic speeches.
Interact With Your Audience
One of the best ways of becoming an excellent presenter is by interacting with your audience. When someone goes from passively listening to a speaker to actively engaging with them, they’re more likely to remember the presentation because they became part of it. There are lots of different ways of interacting with your audience and becoming a memorable presenter, depending on the type of presentation you’re making. Speeches in front of full auditoriums benefit greatly from “hands-in-the-air” surveys, which allow listeners to respond en masse. For example, an entrepreneur running a seminar on how they turned a small candy business into a national brand may ask the audience “Who, here, likes candy?” A simple lift of the hand engages the audience and helps them remember the presentation.
For smaller audiences, a good presenter may open the floor to discussion on thought-provoking questions. The question “Why do people like candy?” helps listeners get into the mindset of customers, from the perspective of the business owner. Not only does this help them better understand the topic at hand but, again, they’re more likely to remember the presentation.
Become a Memorable Presenter by Considering the Setting
There are lots of places you can make a presentation, from a massive auditorium, to a board room, classroom, or even your local coffee shop. Further, presentations aren’t all in-person affairs any longer. The rise of digital speeches on platforms like Zoom and Skype has been going on for years, then boomed in the pandemic. Each setting requires different planning for success. For example, an entrepreneur holding a presentation on Zoom must first make sure they know how to use the technology (no one wants to watch a presenter try and fail to share their screen for five minutes) and come up with a backup plan for technical failures. Meanwhile, someone delivering a speech in an auditorium should practice with a microphone, which allows them to get used to making gestures and walking the stage with wires trailing behind them.
Once you know the setting of your speech, taking the time to plan accordingly can help you succeed and be memorable.
Self-Care for Confidence
One of the biggest things that will make or break your presentation is the level of confidence you exude. A shy presenter with a timid voice is more likely to be forgotten than one who is bold and fun. While overcoming natural timidness is difficult and takes a lot of practice, there are some simple ways to increase your level of confidence through basic self-care alone.
For example, make sure you get a good night’s sleep before a presentation. Exhaustion can lead to brain fog, forgetfulness during the presentation, and a more subdued personality than you may have if you’re well-rested.
Always eat something before a presentation, even if you have butterflies. Public speaking causes stress for many people, which can trigger a rush of adrenaline. If that adrenaline hits on an empty stomach, you may be left feeling shaky, ill, and possibly even faint…which won’t improve your public speaking jitters the next time around.
Dress in clothes that make you feel good and confident. Although a tie or pencil skirt may look professional, if they make you uncomfortable, it’s probably going to show in your presentation. Instead, go shopping to find one or two outfits that look professional but feel good, and designate those as your public speaking clothes. Something as simple as swapping out a standard tie for a clip-on one can free your neck while looking just as good.
Do what relaxes you. If you’re stressed before a presentation, take some time to do whatever hobby helps you wind down after a long day. Read a little bit of that book you’re enjoying, watch a quick sitcom on your phone, do some meditative breathing, go for a quick walk around the building, or whatever it is you need to do to feel calm, collected, and ready to rock your presentation.
Even the most well-rehearsed speech in the world won’t leave an impact on its audience if it isn’t memorable as well. Fortunately, any public speaker, novice or pro, shy or confident, can easily make every presentation more memorable with ease.
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