Linked above is a fantastic article from the Harvard Business Review on the many subtleties of good presenting. Public speaking is a skill, not a gift. Anyone, with practice and direction, can learn to speak well. Take advantage of this class; it will give you many opportunities to improve your speaking abilities. Read the article and begin now. Here are some of its most important points.
- Craft a Narrative – tell a story to your audience. Provide them with a logical progression of ideas from point A to point B. This will provide your presentation with structure and help you keep your audience engaged.
- Be Confident – convince your audience that you are worth listening to. Your audience will be just as interested in learning about you as they will about what you pare presenting. Don’t just share a story; share your story, and what you contribute to it.
- Rehearse – practice your presentation over and over until you are comfortable with it. Your delivery will become more fluid and concise with time, and you will gain a greater appreciation for what elements are important, and which deserve less emphasis.
- Frame your Story – the most important parts of your presentation are the beginning and the end. Immediately hook your audience, and also remember to provide them with a memorable lesson to take away.
- Summarize – an audience can only remember so much. Decide on the most important parts of your presentation and stick to them. Placing emphasis on too many subjects will only dilute your message.