Public speaking is one of the most daunting and feared tasks, even for the most experienced speakers. When you are inexperienced as a presenter, the fears can be overwhelming. However, giving a first-time presentation doesn’t have to be a terrifying experience. In fact, that adrenaline and anxiety can actually add passion and excitement to your presentation. Beginning presenters can learn how to deliver a dynamic presentation by going through a full presentation preparation process. Here are a few helpful tips for beginners that will put your mind at ease.
Develop a Thesis
Many first time presenters struggle to figure out how to fit all of their information into the time allotted. Instead of trying to cram too much information into the presentation, spend time crafting a thesis. This will set the tone for your presentation and narrow down all of the information into the main point. What do you want your audience to take away from your presentation? Once you have decided on a thesis, you can brainstorm all of your supporting points and start developing your full presentation.
Write an Outline, Not a Script
Many beginner speakers want to write down exactly what they are planning to say word for word thinking it will help them ease their nerves. However, scripting does the exact opposite because it almost forces you to memorize your entire presentation. If you are following a script word for word and accidentally miss a sentence, it can throw you off only adding to the pressure. Furthermore, your audience wants to be spoken to, not read to. Instead, outline your presentation and create your bullet points and visual aids from that.
Practice, Practice, Practice!
The key to a good presentation is practice. Practice giving your presentation to family, friends, colleagues, or even in front of the mirror. You might even consider recording yourself so you can make note of any awkward gestures or body language cues that might hinder your presentation. The more you rehearse the better prepared you will be and the more confident you will feel.
Take a Deep Breath
There is no doubt that a beginner speaker is going to feel nervous and anxious before their first presentation. Breathing exercises will help overcome public speaking anxiety and ease your tension. It will relieve stress and also help to improve your speaking voice. So, before you step on stage remember to take several deep breaths to help you relax.