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Business Advice

WOW YOUR AUDIENCE

Deliver your presentation with confidence and greater impact
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WOW YOUR AUDIENCE

CONSIDER the following scenarios:
• You have been tasked by your boss to deliver a sales presentation.
• As head of department, you will be presenting last quarter’s performance to the board of directors.
• At the company’s coming product launch, you will be delivering the opening speech.
Regardless of which situation applies to you, the question you are asking yourself is: “How do I deliver a presentation/speech that interests, impresses and inspires my audience to take the desired action?”

Speaking with confidence to any audience and delivering an engaging and enriching presentation are so important that these skills can accelerate your career growth. 
Here are 10 steps — using the acronym C.O.N.F.I.D.E.N.C.E. — to speaking with greater impact: 

C: Craft the flow of your presentation
How you craft and structure the flow of your presentation determines whether you can interest your audience and lead them from the start to your desired action at the end. 
Before you launch into the main content, the audience must first be convinced about “why” they should listen to you. 

O: Know your objective
At the end of your presentation, what is the desired outcome from your audience? Are there any actions that you want them to take? Knowing your specific objectives will help you to deliver a clear message. 

N: Nurture your presentation skills
Everyone can develop a competency in public speaking and presentation skills. You can acquire the necessary skills through reading books or training, and accumulate sufficient “stage time” to deliver presentation well. Every great speaker has to chalk up hundreds of hours on stage before he starts to shine. 

F: Focus on your audience
Most inexperienced presenters make the mistake of focusing on delivering what they have prepared, neglecting their audience. Experienced presenters focus on their audience. Keep your audience in mind as you prepare your presentation, and in sight when you are speaking. 

I: Imagine the perfect delivery

You may feel nervous and jittery before speaking on stage. Instead of having negative thoughts like “What if I forget my script?” or “What if the audience does not respond?”, empower yourself with positive thoughts. Close your eyes for a few minutes and “see”, “hear” and “feel” yourself speaking with confidence on stage. 

D: Design your mental preparation routine
The mental preparation routine is a technique used by professional athletes before competitions. It is a sequence of actions to activate a positive, confident mental state. What will make you feel good before you go on stage? Listening to your favourite song, drinking a cup of coffee or visualising a great presentation? Whatever it is, make it your routine before taking the stage. 

E: Evaluate yourself only after your presentation
We often evaluate ourselves before we do the task. Avoid thinking that you will fail in your presentation because the previous one was not well received. Once you have prepared and rehearsed as much as you can, trust that you will do a good job. 

N: Stay in the now
You will get more nervous before the presentation if you keep thinking of what to say or what will happen when you go on stage. Stay in the now. Listen to the current speaker or enjoy your meal. That will take your mind away from your presentation and calm you down. 

C: Connect with your audience
Of all the speakers you have heard, a few of them must have left a deep positive impression because they connected strongly with you. You felt they understood you and empathised with you. They intrigued your mind and touched your heart. Do the same with your audience — touch their minds and hearts. 

E: Engage your audience
To keep your audience engaged throughout your presentation, use a variety of tools and techniques. Appeal to their five senses with slides, videos, music and physical activities for maximum effectiveness. 

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