Our latest article gave you some advice about public speaking. We talked to you about the importance of attention and emotion. This time, you will learn about action and get some additional tips too.

Action:

Get them to do something. Ask them to fill in a form, send you an email, or even just raise their hand. Ideally, get the listener to express their support for your cause, and take some small step towards it. Once they feel that they’re already started, they’ll be much more likely to follow up with larger commitments of time and effort; and once convinced and started on it, they will actively try to persuade others.

Other presentation points:

Don’t use PowerPoint as a crutch. I’d actually prefer to tell you not to use it at all, but sometimes that idea freaks people out so badly they end up whimpering in a corner, cuddling a USB key. So fine, if you must, use a few slides – but use as few as possible. Don’t write your speech on them. If they’re so extensive that when someone misses your presentation you can say “I’ll send you the slides”, then there probably wasn’t a need to give the presentation in the first place.

As a guide: 

● No more than 1 slide for 2 minutes of speaking

● Only essential slides: If you deleted any one of them, the presentation wouldn’t make sense

● Nothing that appears on the slides could have been adequately explained verbally (pie charts are okay, clip art is not)

Do it more. Take as many opportunities as you can to speak, with as little time in between as possible. As your body gets used to the experience of standing up in front of crowds, your stress hormone levels will normalise, and you’ll start to feel more relaxed. Focus on letting yourself be yourself. It’ll feel more familiar and give you access to your sense of humour, making you more friendly and relatable.

Do it differently. Try doing your presentation a bunch of different ways, particularly if you’re giving the same talk over and over again.