Do you struggle to present your research findings in public?
I did too.
That is, until I discovered some strategies that made communicating my research much easier.
If you want to radiate confidence when presenting your research, follow my top public speaking tips.
Here are five strategies to help you to present in public with confidence.
1) Know your subject well
The best way to sound confident is to be confident about the topic of your talk. How could you ever be lost for words if you are the expert? You know your study inside out.
Before you step in front of the audience, knowing that you have a deep knowledge of the topic of your presentation will definitely boost your confidence.
2) Preparation and planning are critical
What will your audience expect to hear? What’s your take home message?
Plan the structure of your presentation, but remember to keep it simple and supported by interesting and relevant visuals.
It’s good to know what the venue will be like and what equipment will be available, so find out as much as you can ahead of time. You will feel more relaxed by being prepared.
3) Rehearse your entire presentation
Practising your presentation not only helps you to keep to time, but it’s another great strategy to build your confidence that you won’t be lost for words.
Practice projecting your voice and avoid mumbling or speed talking. We tend to speak faster when we are nervous, so breathe evenly and make an effort to speak more slowly.
Record yourself reading your presentation. This will allow you to check that you are not shouting, but projecting your voice a little louder than a normal conversational level.
Practice behaving confidently. You will be surprised at how this makes you feel confident and influences how people react to you.
4) Keep the audience interested
Keep your presentation simple. Don’t cram everything there is to know about your work to avoid losing the interest of your audience. It’s hard to concentrate with information overload. It will definitely lead to wandering minds and daydreaming.
Emphasise your key points and use repetition to reinforce your message. This will grab the interest of the audience and help them to remember your presentation.
5) Body language
Don’t turn your back on the audience to look at your own visuals, as this is negative body language. Instead, focus on your laptop in front of you if you need to look at your visuals.
Confident people use their hands to emphasise main points but don’t overdo it. Confident people don’t wring their hands, rub them, or hold them.
Also, make eye contact with the audience to ensure that you are interacting with them. Your passion for your research should show, so use your body and voice to convey this enthusiasm.
As a bonus tip, try smiling at the audience as well as making eye contact. This facial expression makes you feel more relaxed and builds rapport with the audience.
When I used the strategies above, I was able to increase my confidence presenting in public. So rock your presentations by using the suggestions I've outlined in this post.
Best way to present in public with confidence is to know your subject well, prepare and carefully plan what you want to say, practice it, keep your audience interested, and watch your body language.
Remember, presenting in public is a performance – break a leg!
What other strategies have you used to rock your presentations? Let us know in the comments.
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