In Part 6 of this series of presentation skills tips designed to help you to become a highly talented presenter, in Tip 7 we said “Let your body speak.”
That article focused on the impact non-verbal language can make on your audience without you uttering a word.
We have all attended presentations where we wondered whether the speaker was ever going to get to the point and finish speaking. That’s the premise of our next piece of advice.
Tip 8: Cut It Out
In much the same way that eating too much chocolate fudge cake can leave you feeling a little queasy, so too can a speaker droning on and on about the same point.
We live in an incredibly busy age of information where many of us are overwhelmed by an influx of data, knowledge, and advice from just about everywhere imaginable. At Mindful Presenter we believe that most business presentations could be made in half the time that they currently are. Making the effort to do so would focus the minds of the presenter and their audience whilst allowing time for a “conversation” and questions.
Talented presenters go out of their way to get to the point quickly and with impact, and they do so by challenging everything they plan to say, show, and do with one powerful question. It’s a question their audience may ask.
In other words, why are you telling me this and why should I care?
Tip 9: Watch Your Language
Even the most seasoned and talented speaker will be prone to saying the very occasional “um” or “err” and the audience rarely notices. However, when those filler words become repetitive to the point of distraction, it’s very off-putting for even the most patient audience.
Close cousins to “um” and “err” are “obviously,” “actually,” “like,” “so,” and the dreaded “basically.”
If you suffer from the affliction of constantly using these types of words, here is the solution.
Watch out for Part 8 soon.
- Find out exactly what words you tend to use and how often you use them. You can do so by recording your next presentation, playing it back, and finding out for yourself. Alternatively, ask someone you trust in your audience to keep track for you and let you know afterwards.
- Slow down. Often these filler words are associated with and triggered by nerves or simply speaking too fast. Practice slowing your pace right down and taking a breath between sentences.
- Pause. As you notice where you use these words when you play back your recording, practice rehearsing your presentation, building in a few timely pauses in their place.
Did you miss Part 6? Click here. To start at the beginning with Part 1, click here. To go to Part 2, click here. To go to Part 3, click here. To go to Part 4, click here. To go to Part 5, click here.
Maurice De Castro is a former corporate executive of some of the UK’s best loved brands. Maurice believes that the route to success in any organisation lies squarely in its ability to really connect with people. That’s why he left the boardroom to create a business helping leaders to do exactly that. Learn more at www.mindfulpresenter.com
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