One of the best ways to enhance others' professional opinion of you is to give memorable presentations. These five tips can help you do just that.
1. Prepare and practice
Have a very clear road map of what you're going to say, and rehearse. Ad-lib a couple of stories if you like, but be sure you know the key points so you don't meander. Have your material memorized, then bring only key bullet points to the lectern.
2. Be comfortable in your skin
Wear an outfit you feel good in and dress for the crowd you are speaking to. Smile and be enthusiastic. Your energy, enthusiasm and conviction will motivate them more than anything than you actually say.
3. Have a conversation with your audience
Don't bore them with too many graphs or charts. Tell stories that they will remember and discuss experiences they can relate to. Find your stories from your own life experiences. If they laugh, pause for it. Don't lose the value of laughter by talking over it. Don't wait until the end to take questions. You can ask the audience what they'd like to get out of the session or why they came. You can poll the group for their opinion about a topic. Ask questions throughout your presentation.
4. Respond to your audience
Observe their body language and adjust the pace and content of your presentation accordingly. If they look bored, throw in a joke, ask a question or do something to bring them back to life. Throw out candy or treats or have a trivia question with a prize if they are really "gone."
5. Simplify your message
You're an expert on your topic, so your natural inclination may be to impart lots of that knowledge. Resist it! Don't bore or overwhelm your listeners with details they'll never retain. Focus on a few powerful ideas that they'll remember.
Kimberly Baeth, the inventor of the original giant scissors that actually cut, started Golden Openings Inc. in 1997 to be a worldwide source for those scissors, giant bows, keys to the city, gold and chrome shovels, and other groundbreaking items and event keepsakes. Her company ships hundreds of domestic and international parcels daily and coordinates many local celebratory events each week. In 2013, her niche business exceeded $1.5 million in sales. She has spoken to many groups about her experience as a woman business owner and about entrepreneurship. Her hobbies include Ironman and other forms of triathlons, marathon running and her daughters' sports and band activities.