I’ve always admired people who talk with confidence, Before they even open their mouths, they have already commanded the audience’s attention with their keen posture, excellent eye contact, and confident smiles. Before they even start talking, I already know that I’m in for a treat! Their eyes sparkle with light and their smiles radiate with passion.
Although very few people show this type of enthusiasm when they speak, it no doubt commands a room’s attention. Everyone can learn how to be a better presenter and how to captivate the audience. Oprah Winfrey is by far one of the most recognizable speakers who can do this well. Out of the hundreds of TV shows she has hosted, not a single one of them has made me yawn or flip to another channel. Even though some topics were not ones that I would pick out on my own, the way that she spoke and how she always engaged the audience captivated me as a viewer and glued me to my seat!
Another interesting speaker that I absolutely love is Zig Ziglar. Almost ten years ago, I had the unique opportunity to see him in person and hear him speak on a range of topics. I had extremely high expectations as he was a well sought out motivational speaker whose voice commanded about $25,000 per speaking engagement. I was lucky enough to snag a seat for only $10! I was like a kid in a candy store and brimming with excitement!
Active Listening Improves Your Presentation Skills
Whenever I watch someone present on a topic, I try to be as active of a listener as possible. There is always something that can be learned from anyone who speaks. Zig Ziglar was no exception to this rule and the number one thing that I took away from him was how easily he captured the audience’s attention with some jokes. From then on, the crowd just ate him up! Moments like that are what makes a presentation go from ordinary to extraordinary. He had a way of engaging the audience on an individual level. Though there were thousands of people there, they way he spoke made me feel like I was the only one he was speaking to.
In the same way, presenters have a unique opportunity to impact their web audience. You don’t have to be an Oprah Winfrey or a Zig Ziglar to get high marks from the audience. You just have to tweak a few simple steps during your video conferencing review to get you from good to great!
Believe in Yourself
The #1 thing that you need is a belief in yourself. Believe that what you are talking about is important not only for you but for your audience as well. After all, they have already signed up and have logged into the meeting- they already believe that there is something that they can get out of what you are about to share. Feed on this knowledge and lead your introduction with this passion!
If you haven’t done very many presentations and like me you’re more afraid of making a fool of yourself than you are of selling the awesome products that you have, then I highly suggest that after your PowerPoint and presentations are created, go ahead and present them to yourself in the mirror.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
I’ve found that it takes a good three to four times of practicing in front of a mirror on a first presentation before the material starts to flow. By practicing it more than once, you can see where you stumble and what areas can be improved while ‘fixing’ them on the next go-round. Once your conversational skills on presenting sound more genuine and confident, you can move into cleaning up your presentation. Not only is it essential to have a good grasp of your presentation, but it is equally important for your PowerPoint presentation to speak for itself.
Your PowerPoint is a Reflection of Your Company
Secondly, you’ll want to give plenty of time to developing a professional PowerPoint. Your PowerPoint says volumes about you, your business, and how you run your business. If you’re using outdated slides and keep having to say “Oh! This slide is last year’s product model” you are just wasting your audience’s time and really saying that you do not care about showing them the best products that you have. Remember to allow the presentation to carry itself in a dynamic way. Keep each slide to 3-4 bullet points and make time to transition yourself in and out of main points.
You want to lead with confidence and show the audience that you are in control of the web conference. Show them that you are up to date and know what the next slide is about and where you are leading them. When you have confidently concluded your session, ask for your audience’s business and insist that they send you an email or phone call to touch base. You’ll be amazed at how many people will take you up on this!