Giving the Perfect Presentation

Notes(Show All)
No matter the corporation, company, or individual, those seeking speech consulting tend to ask the same five questions.
  • No matter the corporation, company, or individual, those seeking speech consulting tend to ask the same five questions.
  • Question #1 - How do I make my voice more dynamic?
  • When we tell stories naturally, our voice goes up and down and we emphasize certain words without thinking about it, so that our speech has a natural flow.
  • First, make sure you understand what your message is. Use very specific words to convey your concept - words that will provoke you to use more of your natural speaking ability.
  • For example, as opposed to using the word "dropped," you might choose the word "plummeted." If something's really big, describe it as "massive." These type of word choices help to add color and dimension to what you're saying.
  • Question #2 - What do I do with my hands?
  • When you're talking in a group, you know exactly what to do with your hands, without even thinking about it. You use your hands all the time to express yourself! When you have planned presentations, your hands are either stuck to your sides or flailing in strange ways and not supporting what you're trying to say.
  • Try to consider, in advance, how you might be able to use your hands to emphasize a certain point. One of the most obvious opportunities for this comes up when you're making comparisons.
  • Use your hands to reinforce the message and give a visual cue to connect to the words that you choose.
  • Question #3 - What do I do with the rest of my body?
  • You want to plan where you're going to move. It's important to make those plans based on the message you're trying to convey.
  • For example, you might decide to begin at the podium and to leave the podium and walk to the left side of the stage when you are ready to raise a question to the group. Then, you might move to the center of the stage to address the whole group.
  • Try to prepare clear, decisive movements. You don't have to stick to them, but this way you have a plan and don't just feel like you're left to wing it.
  • How do I deal with eye contact? Do I have to look everyone in the eye? Do I scan the room? Should I pick one person to talk to or just look right over their heads?
  • Eye contact provides you an opportunity to connect to the people that you're talking to and make sure your message lands where you want it to.
  • People often feel anxious about public speaking because they worry that they are the object of everyone's attention. In that case, consider the audience to be the observers, not the observed, so that you're taking in how well your message is landing.
  • It's important to go from person to person point by point. Avoid interrupting your point and instead direct a concise point at a person and then see how the message is being received before moving your focus on to someone else.
  • Question #5 - Do I have to practice my presentation out loud? Do I have to stand up while practicing?
  • If you're going to work on your presentation, you must practice out loud. If you're going to stand up during the actual presentation, stand up while practicing. Hold a hairbrush or a rolled-up magazine while practicing if you will be holding a microphone during the actual presentation. Create the atmosphere of the room that you'll be speaking in and the conditions in which you'll be speaking.
  • Rehearsal is not a time to judge how well you'll be doing. Instead, use this time to fix elements of your presentation that aren't working.

Stephanie Silverman is an Executive Coach specializing in Public Speaking and all areas of spoken communication. As a speech coach, Stephanie provides highly effective communication coaching services to a clientele of global executives working in a broad range of industries, including L'Oréal Paris, Thomson Reuters, CNN, Cartier, Coach, and Johnson & Johnson.
Silverman Speech Consulting
244 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2984
New York, NY 10001
244 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2984 New York,NY 10001