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How to improve your presentation skills -

Part 5 - Be Yourself

It was once said, “No man ever yet became great by imitation.” In most presentations, you are trying to let the audience get a sense of who you are and what you are trying to say.

Gone are the days of stodgy, stoic and stiff oratory. Instead, speeches have become enlarged conversations where we want to relate to the speaker. It is difficult to do that if you are trying to be something you are not. Most audiences want to like you and are willing to forgive an awful lot. The goal here is to make people feel comfortable so don’t take yourself so seriously.

Focus on projecting an image that is positive, confident, relaxed and open. Stay away from sounding smug or arrogant, hostile or defensive, negative or uptight. Use humor, analogies, interesting or personal stories. It helps the audience get to know you and will also help keep them interested. Intersperse these little anecdotes throughout the presentation. Like little surprises, they will keep bringing the audience’s attention back to you.

Most important – don’t forget your audience. When drafting your speech and while speaking, always keep them in mind – their demographics, beliefs, and what they want to learn or know about. Talk to them, not at them. Not only will your speech be more interesting, but you also stand a better chance of winning them over.

Webmaster: Ron Wauschek