The real success of every presentation is leaving your audience with something of value. What do they get out of spending time in your presentation? Many people believe that they need natural brilliance in speaking well and presenting well. The believe that they need to be polished, smart, witty and charming all before they actually start to build a speech. Those attributes can come naturally, but most often, they come as a result of passion, knowledge and practice of the speaker's material.
One of the most important factors in having a successful presentation is serving the needs of your audience. Going back to the idea that you need to leave your audience with something of value, caring for your audience's needs doesn't require perfection. You can make mistakes with speaking and it's going to be okay. The projector equipment can fail and it's still going to be okay. You don't have to include humor in order to be a success. With that in mind, real perfection is more like being successful at reaching your audience.
Give your audience two or three gold nuggets of information. No one expects you to be a walking encyclopedia concerning your subject matter. No one expects you to speak for hours on end about your topic. It's too much for you and for your audience to handle. Find two or three heavy hitting points to make and work with those points so that they become exciting to hear.
To give your audience something of value, focus on them not on you. Telling your personal testimony is great, but eventually during your presentation, you've got to find a way to relate your presentation back to your audience. One rule of thumb concerning this area is to use 10 "you's" for every one "I". That means you'll talk less about yourself and talk more about your audience.
Realize you don't have to control every situation in your audience. You don't have to emerge as the victor over negative audience members. The audio/video equipment does not have to be perfectly functioning. You simply don't have enough time to combat situations in your audiences (I.e. - like them falling asleep, talking or cell phones ringing) and still communicate your message effectively. Remember that your whole goal is to give your audience something of value.
Give your audience something of value by becoming their friend. Sometimes you may need to stop thinking of yourself as a professional speaker and start thinking of yourself a close personal friend of the audience member. You'll teach them something and give them advice. You'll sound more natural in our speech and you'll be more relatable to your audience. People often associate those on stage as automatically having knowledge and wisdom on the topic covered. While this thought is great to establish you as a leader, the points you make in your presentation may be better received if you came across from a more personal standpoint.
Your whole goal as a professional speaker is to leave your audience with something of value. This means creating a solid bond between your audience and your material. This means you think about the needs of your audience. Give your audience something of value today!
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