06-28-13 Dallas Morning News story – The Five: Tips on making an effective presentation

A local expert provides five recommendations on a topic useful to small business owners. This week, business coach Holly St. John Peck talked to staff writer Hanah Cho about five tips to making an effective presentation.

1. Mind over matter
Most people falter in speaking due to their fear, not due to lack of competency. To ease your mind, breathe deeply three times, shake your hands wildly in the air to alleviate adrenalin and gain control of hand gestures, and lastly, reframe your self-talk to be positive.

2. Know your audience
Whether it’s one person or 100, do a little research so your message is targeted and you feel confident with your content. What does the audience know or need to know? What’s in it for them? What questions will they ask?

3. Prepare and practice
One benefit of electronic communication is that you have the opportunity to think about your message and review it before sending. Face-to-face conversations and presentations should be no different. Take that same approach to develop a presentation outline as well as simple and meaningful visual aids. Then practice, practice, practice.

4. Be authentic and likable
There’s a saying, “Like the messenger, like the message.” If you can get an audience to like you, you will have a much better chance of that audience being receptive your message. Use humor (appropriately) and real-world examples that connect to your content. Smile and strive to be approachable, especially at the beginning and end of your presentation.

5. Convey the attitude of a leader — even if you’re not one just yet.
Studies show that people who have good interpersonal and speaking skills are perceived to be good leaders with advancement potential. Who doesn’t want that?

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