Eloquence was born a long, long time ago, somewhere in the time of Socrates and Plato, who pondered the high questions of life. But today, it is no less relevant (for SMM and digital specialists, for sure!).
A successful presentation depends on the content and the presentation itself. From here, we have two problems that we can face in the process.
The first is to prepare well for a public speech, and the second is to avoid being nervous in front of the audience. But don't worry! Our experts at Kukuruza often speak on forums; the editor-in-chief even conducts live broadcasts to an audience of over 150K. Therefore, we faced various situations (namely, cases and exciting moments), and now we will share our experiences.
Tips on how to prepare for public speaking
Find out what format the performance will be in
The speech can be online and offline, which is important. If you are offline, you have to meet people face-to-face; for this, you need to prepare not only in terms of presentation but also morally. Eye contact, gesturing, and interaction with the listener are also very important because you have to establish an emotional connection with him.
But if your presentation is online, then these are completely different emotions. However, excitement is present in any performance format. However, each of them has its characteristics. So, during an online presentation, you will no longer need to maintain eye contact, and even if 100 people are looking at you, you will not see it because there will only be icons in front of you (although getting used to looking at a blank screen or yourself is another challenge). Here, the emphasis is already on the presentation itself (visual) and the information that you tell. But interaction is still necessary—especially your familiarity with listeners.
Determine the topic of the speech
This moment is crucial. If you have been invited to speak on a certain topic and know the required format, it will be a little easier for you. And if you are organizing a performance yourself, the first thing you need to do is decide on a topic.
How to do it?
- Conduct research. This way, you will understand your audience and determine their requests and pains (you can also ask for help in the GPT chat).
- Analyze the information. After the search, you need to think everything through to generate questions that concern the viewer.
- Make a list of questions. Put yourself in the viewer's place and write all the questions that interest you.
- Choose the best ones. Group them under one topic or single out a question you will reveal in the presentation.
When you know your target audience, you can think about the speech details that interest her: memes, TikTok videos, and pictures (because a 20-year-old woman and a 35-year-old politician need a different approach).
Form the purpose of your speech
Here, it is essential to write down the goals of the performance, the result, and the final action to which we will stimulate the viewer. The speaker must understand why he is doing it and what he wants to convey.
And to understand this, just ask yourself the question: "What conclusion should the viewer draw?". Our goal is not just for the listener to attend our presentation but also to take away something for himself.
Write the thesis statement of your speech
First, write the questions you want to answer.
Next, you can structure everything in the presentation (remember the plans for the works we wrote at school) to understand whether everything goes logically regarding content.
Create a presentation
You already have the basis of your performance; now, the visual part is essential. The presentation keeps the viewer's attention, and even if they stop listening to the speaker at one point, the interactive interaction can re-engage.
Methods of keeping attention can be different: memes, schemes, videos, and pictures. By the way, load the presentation with a manageable amount of text. Because with its help, we give examples of the words and theses that were said (this makes it easier to perceive information and build associations). Therefore, you can provide schematic sketches, diagrams, or graphs. The main thing is not an empty slide with a ton of text.
Add details to the performance
It can be messages, examples, jokes, or even funny memes. Your presentation should be smooth (e.g a lecture, where everything is monotonously read from a book) but lively and exciting. Such details relax the audience nicely and stimulate their attention, as if anew.
Supporting your words and theses with research in a particular field is also excellent. People love numbers, especially if a primary source proves them.
And regarding the examples, remember that the viewer may need help understanding a complex term (even if it is elementary). Explain everything in simple words (and give examples).
Think about how you will interact with the viewer
At the very beginning, you need to find a common language with the audience (it is then that a thread of communication is born in us, which must not only be broken but also strengthened and continued after the webinar). But the beginning is not only about dry facts, where you tell your autobiography. There are several ways to start a presentation:
- Classic dating. Everything is classic here. Tell us who you are, what you do, about your skills and successes. This will help the viewer to relax because he will have "his person" in front of him.
- Video content. By the way, it works very well. At the beginning, instead of an introduction, you can also give a short promo to tell more about you or the company.
Also, be sure to indicate at the beginning that the audience will be able to ask all their questions at the end so that they will be more attentive during the performance (you can immediately promise a bonus to the most active).
In the presentation, you can insert interactives, polls, or questions where the audience can express their opinion.
Our communication with the viewer does not end after the webinar; on the contrary, it only begins. Therefore, you can give a lead magnet (gift) for subscribing or marking in stories. Or some easy homework, but here, most importantly, do not overdo it because this is not school and not a physics lesson.
Write the text of your speech
If these are your first performances, then to ensure yourself, you can completely write down all lines, including jokes. Improvisation is cool, but you can forget some vital points or just forget everything when you see the audience. And so you insure yourself if your hands and knees tremble.
Rehearse the entire presentation
This can be done several times. That way, you will understand if you still need to adjust something and see the overall picture. Also, remember to set a timer because people often go to a limited-time performance, so we need to invest in it.
Come up with a cool ending
It is like the final note in a piece of music. It should be cool and concise (by the way, it is best to end the presentation positively).
Please give a quote that will sum up the presentation. As one French critic said: "There is no magic stronger than the magic of words."
Think about collecting feedback so that next time, everything will be even better (for example, offer to fill out a Google form).
How to support yourself before a performance
Now, it is clear how to prepare for a presentation. Let's move on to the less important part: nerves and emotions. Before a speech, gathering yourself and feeling confident is very important, but this is only sometimes possible (believe me, this happens even to super speakers). Therefore, catch techniques that will help you concentrate and calm down.
Concentrate on your breathing
You can close your eyes and take a deep breath in and out. Practice this for 10-15 minutes, and your body will relax.
If concentration on breathing does not help, you can find meditation on YouTube and immerse yourself in this state.
Stretch your body
Stop! Take your time doing cardio or on the treadmill. Just stretch your neck and shoulders and pull in different directions.
Read the tongue twisters
This will improve your articulation and divert your attention from unnecessary thoughts and feelings.
Dealing with fears
Our head is interconnected with our body, so often, the problem is hidden there. If you are worried that you will forget the text, a cheat sheet will always be in front of you (find arguments for your toxic thoughts).
And even if you somehow say a word incorrectly, it's not a problem. Allow yourself to be wrong. This is normal.
Wow! Public speaking is truly an art. Eh? But when you prepare well for it, you will get great pleasure from the process. Here you will see! We hope this article was helpful to you. We wish you a lot of inspiration and success in public speaking!