06 Nov 5 Tips to Becoming an Exceptional Public Speaker & Presenter
Are you currently delivering presentations with confidence, but keen to improve your existing skills? Then this article’s for you.
For those who are just starting out or need some basic pointers on how to deliver a good presentation, please see our post, ‘The Art of Good Presentation: 10 Key Pointers’.
There are good speakers and then there are exceptional ones. Good speakers are confident and engaging, knowledgeable, and don’t spout out the same old typical presentation drivel.
But what makes an exceptional speaker? What is it that’s expected to be classed as an exceptional public speaker or presenter?
It’s all well and good being able to clearly articulate about your product, service or business, but can your expertise teach your audience something? Exceptional speakers are extremely knowledgeable and experts in their subject, giving them the ability to impart new information in a presentation and engage the listener. Before you produce the content for your presentation go and research everything in order to educate yourself on the finer details. That way, you can impress your audience with in-depth information and appear as the subject thought leader at the same time.
#2. Images and Numbers Are More Effective Than Words
Presentations delivered by exceptional speakers feature minimal text as images and ‘one-liners’ – this has much more impact than paragraphs of text. These engaging, to-the-point slides capture the audience’s attention and force them to remember your slides.
A good example of a brand that nails their presentations is Apple (as the last Steve Jobs as a prime example of an exceptional presenter). Their simple and bold presentation aesthetic, delivered by a confident speaker, is a recipe for success! A key thing to note is that Apple uses slides that highlight achievements numerically – for example, £1,000,000 as opposed to £1 million. This numerical tactic is much more effective than using words, so remember to use it when you really want to amaze your audience.
#3. Body Language is Key
Engaging body language is a fundamental quality of an exceptional speaker. Maintaining eye contact with your audience is essential, as well as having a confident and welcoming posture, an advanced speaker moves away from the podium, dominates the stage and gesticulates to reinforce passion for the subject matter. For more advice on body language take a look at Annette Kramer’s website. Annette is a professional performance coach with some great video tutorials you can view forfree.
#4. Talk with Passion, But Don’t Rush It
The way you speak during a presentation is an obvious indication as to how experienced you are with public speaking. As we all know, it is important to project your voice and speak to your audience as opposed to mumbling into your notes.
An analysis of 9 TED Talks concluded that the average word count was 163 words per minute. This is less than a normal conversation, so remember to speak slowly and articulate your words.
However, what is defined as an exceptional speech?
Exceptional speakers have the ability to evoke emotion by the way they deliver a speech. Animating the voice to portray passion or to reinforce certain opinions, really engages the audience and clearly demonstrates their enthusiasm for their product, service or business.
#5. Practise, Practise Practise!
Exceptional speakers are extremely well rehearsed and need minimal prompting. They have had years of experience and have adopted a presentation style which is suited to them, so the more you practise the easier it will become to feel comfortable and confident.
In short, there are a lot of great speakers that have the potential to be exceptional ones. If these 5 tips are followed, you will be well on your way to becoming an exceptional speaker, presenter and a member of a small elite.