Since 1977, over 10,000 Spokespersons Trained.

10 Tips for Making Winning Presentations

  1. Be Yourself. Don't be a poor imitation of someone else. Be the best you can be.

  2. Audience Analysis. Each audience is unique. It's not "just another Rotary Club." The time you spend at this stage will greatly enhance your chances for a winning presentation. Why are they in attendance? What do they want, need, and expect from you?

  3. Humor Works but should not be forced. Laughter is a nourishing experience. Humor can be used to build rapport, relax you and the audience, drive home points, poke fun at adversaries, etc. Jokes can also embarrass speakers beyond rehabilitation. Try "third party" humor.

  4. Jargon. Don't dress your speech up with fancy words that you normally would not use. Speak within your audience's frame of reference. Avoid unnecessary jargon and "shop talk."

  5. Master the Basics:
    • Eye Contact independence from notes
    • Vocal Vitality volume and confidence
    • Physical Reinforcement body language and grooming

  6. Non-fluencies. (Ah, um, er, you know, alright, o.k., like) These distract listeners and make you appear unprofessional. Some listeners will only recall your blemishes and not your brilliant ideas.

  7. Visual Aids are often overused. Don't become an audio aid to a slide or power point presentation. Use visual aids adroitly and match the type of aid with the audience and situation at hand.

  8. Offer Evidence. The lawyer cites legal precedents, the account interpretation what about you? Be senior management's eyes and ears. What have other companies tried? What are the results? Who else is considering a similar program? What impact can we expect on our constituents, i.e., shareholders, regulators, customers, employees, etc. Demonstrate and share your expertise.

  9. Q & A. Design for a lively and spirited Q & A session. Long speeches and drawn out answers dampen audience enthusiasm. Purposefully omit key material from your speech to jumpstart your Q & A session. Keep it focused a logical extension of your speech. Use handouts to breathe new life into a dead Q & A.

  10. Grow Your Skills. Practice, practice, practice. These are acquired skills they rust for want of use. Each outing is both a growing opportunity and a career limiting opportunity. Invest the time to do it right.

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