Great ideas are not enough… they have to be properly delivered.   With that in mind one can note how even average thoughts conveyed with confidence and enthusiasm provide strong results.

If you want to give a powerful delivery follow these simple rules:

  1. Imagine yourself as your audience’s equal.

If you’re speaking with a CEO, imagine yourself as a CEO. If you’re speaking to engineers, imagine yourself as an engineer. Find and focus on the commonalities between yourself and your audience. If you’re not a supplicant you won’t sound like one.

  1. Mentally rehearse each sentence.

You’ll seem massively less confident if you trip over your own words or half-articulate a half-baked sentence. Before you speak, take a brief moment to imagine, in brief, what you’re about say aloud. That pause makes you seem thoughtful and wise, BTW.

  1. Speak from your chest not your throat or nose.

When people get nervous, their voices tend to move upwards so that the sound emerges from the throat or nose, which can make even deep wisdom sound like a whine. If you move your voice down into your chest, you’ll sound (and feel) more confident.  A microphone can also help you project confidently with little effort.

  1. Speak 20 percent slower than seems natural.

Many people also express nervousness by talking fast. (Hence the hoary archetype of the “fast-talking” salesperson.) People with real expertise tend to speak a bit slowly, as if they expect their listeners to hang on every word.  This also gives your audience time to absorb the supporting slide on the projector screen.

  1. Eliminate your verbal ticks.

Some people use verbal ticks (“Uhhh….,” “you know…,” “I mean…, etc.) while thinking of what to say next. This makes you sound like you’re unsure of yourself, so it’s better simply to silently pause in midsentence. Record yourself and practice, if needed.

  1. Never articulate a statement as a question.

A little uptick at the end of a sentence transforms even a definitive statement into a plea for approval. If you’re confident, you make statements that reflect your knowledge and opinion. If you’ve got a question, you ask a question. No mixing the two.

  1. Avoid looking at the projector screen

It’s very tempting to look at the screen and read to the audience.  Avoid using this crutch… make a print out of your presentation and reference that.  It makes you look more in control and prepared.  More importantly you will always be facing your audience and feel more confident.  Looking at the screen briefly to be sure you’re at the right spot is certainly acceptable.

Follow these simple tips, rehearse your delivery, and captivate your audience!

Lucas Productions provides total audio visual solutions for meetings and conferences in Clearwater, Tampa, St. Petersburg, and the entire Tampa Bay area. For more information, go to our website or call (727) 532-2122.