They say public speaking is up there with death as one of the most terrifying things for people, but you can avoid some common mistakes by using these tips when you give a presentation.
- Talk less
Have you ever attended a government meeting? Recently, I watched a two-hour presentation online given at a recent local government meeting. Or to be honest I watched an hour and a half of it because that’s when I fell asleep. At some point people stop paying attention, or even worse, start getting angry because they feel like you’re wasting their time.
- Be authentic
People care so much about authenticity many will support a political candidate they disagree with on policy because they feel that candidate is genuine or truly cares about them.
On the other hand, people can spot a fake. Something just doesn’t seem right. Those Nigerian emails? That “Nigerian prince” may actually have been this guy.
- Use plain English
Albert Einstein said, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it yourself.” I work on a lot of political projects but most of my friends outside of work are just regular guys. That actually helps me when I’m working on campaigns because I think to myself, “How would I explain this to my friends?” If it’d be confusing to them or wouldn’t hold their interest, then it’s just not the right way to say it.
- Focus on your audience
Even if you have a captive audience, nobody has to listen to you anymore. They have everything going on in the world right in their pocket, and if they no longer want to listen to you, they have email, social media and games all at their fingertips.
People don’t want to listen to somebody just because they have a fancy title or have written some very big books. But if you can present some information that they will find interesting or helpful, you’ll command their attention.
Eric Eisenhammer is CEO of Dauntless Communications.