If you have been given the honor of sharing your thoughts on the latest marketing trends at an industry conference, then you are probably overwhelmed with the thoughts of preparation…
What topic should I cover?
How can I effectively get my points across?
What visual aids should I use?
And so on.
Being a great public speaker requires a great deal of practice and courage. The next time you need to give a presentation, here are some tips that can help you nail your marketing presentation:
Choosing Your Topic
While this might seem pretty straight-forward, it can actually be quite frustrating as well. Many marketing experts know so much that having to pick one topic can feel quite limiting. Whether you want to talk about content marketing or the importance of digital marketing, you are going to need to be very specific about what you want to discuss since you will be limited to a very short window (usually 10 to 20 minutes) to get your points across.
Making a good first impression is essential if you want to be taken seriously and seen as credible. Here are seven things to keep in mind:
1. Sloppy language. Using words like “anyways” or phrases such as, “That’s a whole ‘nother thing”.
2. Lazy language. Using phrases such as “you guys,” “okey dokey,” “no problem.”
3. Verbal fillers. Using “ums” and “ahs”.
4. Hiding your hands. This demonstrates a lack of trust. Keep your hands where people can see them.
5. Being late for the presentation.
6. Throat clearing. The message sent here is that you think you are superior. Not a good first impression.
7. Lack of enthusiasm. Enthusiasm sells. If you’re not enthusiastic and excited, why in the world should your audience get excited about your presentation?
Fear Of Speaking
First and foremost, you must understand that there is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to public speaking. Many people believe that speaking in front of a group of people is inherently difficult and stressful. However, there are tons of people that don’t feel any type of stress or have any type of fear when it comes to public speaking.
You must understand that you are no more or less human that these people, therefore you too can overcome your fear of public speaking just like they did. Even some of the most respected marketing public speakers have had to overcome this hurdle.
Relax & Be Yourself
Another tip is to just relax and be yourself when up on stage. “Many of us try to become a different person once we step up to the stage” says business coach Cris Johnson of the Coaching Institute. “We have this preconceived notion of what a public speaker should be and try to emulate that. What you have to understand is that trying to copy someone else’s style will only make it more uncomfortable for you. Always show the audience your true self, not somebody else.”
Dealing With Criticism
Remember that nothing really “bad” will happen if you make a slip or mistake while giving your presentation. Nobody’s going to come up there and complain to you or even criticize you. Everyone in the audience is just like you, they also have a fear of public speaking so they’ll be lenient and understanding that you aren’t the perfect human being. Don’t think of the consequences because they don’t really matter. Just go up there, be yourself, and let things take its course.
Should I Use Humor?
Many people feel that humor is necessary in a presentation. It may be a valuable attention-gaining technique, but use it wisely. The joke you tell should have some relationship to the rest of your presentation or to your audience. Using humor can help arouse interest, allow you to connect with the audience, disarm hostility, show that you don’t take yourself too seriously and make a positive impression.
However, if you don’t feel comfortable with humor, then make them think. Two key strategies will help you get your audience thinking: Present facts, figures and expert opinions or invite the audience to participate. Your opening is your promise to the audience about what they’ll get out of your presentation – make sure you promise something you can deliver.