As a professional speaker you will always look for different ways to approach a topic. Consider looking at the world of competitive sports and it's application to speaking. Let's look at the world of golf. You may not be a golfer but there are some powerful golf tips that you can apply to any presentation.
1. Study The Greens For Better Putting
One golf expert suggested looking at the overall slope of the green; Watching how your partners' shots roll on the green and; Tossing the ball towards the hole to see where it breaks. How does this relate to giving a presentation?
You need to read your audience before you present just like reading your slope before you putt.
Try to arrive early. Toss around conversation like the ball on the green. This will give you a feel of your audience. Do they expect bad news, good news or chastisement? Find out how and what they heard about your presentation.
Are you speaking at 3:00 pm on a Monday or Friday? Look at the faces of your audience. Are some in a preoccupied fog? Are they looking at their watches? Decide how much you must raise the volume or pump up the enthusiasm. You may have to maximize audience involvement. Keep it simple and focused.
2. Practice Your Putts
If you play golf how much time do you spend practicing putting strokes, or bunker shots? No one would go into competition without putting in good "putting time."
The same applies to a presentation. A critical part of the presentation is rehearsal. I suggest the following for busy people:
* Carry index cards with quotations or statistics you can memorize during any downtime.
* Carry a small tape recorder to practice parts of your presentation. It is especially helpful to work on the opening and close of your talk.
* Play your entire presentation in your car while driving.
Watch yourself in the mirror while you orally rehearse. Practice your gestures, facial expressions and tone of voice.
Avoid "winging it." Many of you do it well but excellence is the off spring of preparation. Practice your delivery like you would your swing.
3. When Your Ball Is In A Hardpan Or Any Tight Lie Consider The Following:
* Position your body weight and hands in front of the ball all the way through impact.
* Stay confident. The right technique and confidence will help you deal with challenging shots.
When doing a presentation you may have to pitch from some tight spots. For example; Your slides fall on the floor, the microphone quits working, or you must change the length of your presentation because of a fire drill.
What should you do?
* If the microphone quits do not stop talking. You may need to move closer to your audience and project your voice.
* Do not tense up. Relax. Breathe slowly and deeply. Do not worry about what people will think if you fail.
* If you are in the middle of your delivery-channel anxious energy into impressionable gestures.
* Stay confidently focused. Remember you are the speaker and in control. Bottom line is to anticipate a problem and plan for it. Excellence is achieved through preparation.
Enjoy finding new applications in your speaking journey!