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You want to make a good impression in your presentation, but first, you have to have the authority to talk to your audience. What do I mean by that? It’s simple. You have to take control and let them know you are an authority on your topic, you have something to offer them, and they need to pay attention to what you’re telling them. This will give the audience a good impression of you, and that is more valuable than anything when presenting. It means more opportunities to speak in the future. There are a few techniques you can use to make sure you make the impression you want when you give your presentations.

  • Take a few moments to gather yourself and your ideas. When you approach an audience for the first time, you want to establish a little control right away. Tell them who you are, what you want to tell them, and why they should listen to you. Tell them how you’re an authority on your topic, and assure them they won’t find this information from anyone else. You’re the “go to” person for whatever it is you’re speaking about. This will cause your audience to respect you right away.
  • In order to prove you’re knowledgeable to your audience, don’t read the first few paragraphs of your presentation from your paper or cards. If you start off by showing them you KNOW what you’re talking about, you’ll earn more credibility than you would if you kept referring to your paper or note cards. Make sure your introduction is memorized, and you’ll keep your control
  • Maintain good eye contact with the members of your audience. Unless it’s a very small audience, it will probably be impossible for you to maintain contact with every member of the audience. Pick out a few members of the audience and make direct eye contact. Be sure to hold it for a few seconds before you move on. Re-establish eye contact with them from time to time throughout your presentation.
  • Don’t speak too rapidly or loudly. Make sure the sound is good before you start, and if you get nervous and begin to talk too quickly, take a few deep breaths. Speaking too quickly may confuse your audience. Show enough emotion to keep your audience’s attention, but maintain control as well.
  • Don’t do distracting things like use filler words between your ideas or sentences. Fillers are words such as “um,” and, “er” and “you know.” Doing this gives you less credibility with your audience. Don’t play with items in your pockets or shuffling your papers will make you seem like a nervous speaker.
  • Stay on topic. If you get off topic, you may go over your time limit. If there is one thing that your audience will appreciate, it is you keeping on a scheduled time.

When you finish your presentation, summarize your main points. Go over the main points of your presentation again and point out things specific to your audience. Taking control from beginning to end will make you a respected presenter.


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