06 Mar 5 Secrets to Successful Presenting

Being able to communicate in an influential way so the audience hears your message and then changes their behaviour accordingly is not just about what you say, it’s also about what you do. Here are five tips for making your communication more successful.

1.  Get to know your audience

Who are they?  What are they expecting from you and the message?  What are their objections? What questions are they likely to ask you?  What will they need to hear to bring them on your side?

2.  Build Rapport

Rapport is about a connection and a relationship between like-minded people.  Rapport encourages open mindedness, trust and confidence. We are more likely to accept ideas when we feel in rapport with the presenter.

Build rapport by minimising differences between you and your audience members.  You do this through your language, style, energy, eye contact, dress, use of jargon, storytelling, body language and vocal quality.

3.  Find a Mentor

I realised early on in my career that if I was going to become an expert in presentation skills then I should hurry up and learn from the people who were already occupying that space!  So I set about working with the top speakers in Australia (both face to face and through their books and CDs and resources). In some cases I was lucky enough to actually become friends with some of these amazing people.  Through these relationships I’ve been gifted hundreds of tips and tools and strategies that have set me up as an expert in this area.  I recommend you do the same.  Find speakers you love and learn from them.

4.  Be yourself

Audiences are smart and will work it out pretty quickly if you’re faking it.  There’s a lot of talk around at the moment about authenticity – authenticity is a sense of integrity, trustworthiness, or the ‘real McCoy’!  The best advice for successful presenting that I could give you is just be yourself because everyone else is taken!

5.  Seek reliable feedback and then put it into action

It helps to practice in front of a live audience. Especially if that audience contains other experienced presenters. Ask your colleagues, bosses and anybody else you respect to watch and listen to you and then to give you some feedback.  And while you’re at it, why not videotape yourself so you get feedback from your toughest critic: yourself. Record yourself and watch the video. You’ll be amazed, impressed and horrified by what you see and then make a plan to change the most obvious things first and fix things one step at a time.  The more you refine, the more refined you’ll become!  And you’ll notice this in turn will increase your confidence.

Successful presenting is something we can all master – it’s just a matter of knowing what to do and then doing it.  Good luck and happy presenting!