Tips

A Bit Shy? 6 Public Speaking Hacks for Introverts

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Introverts can make for great public speakers, too! Self-proclaimed shy-guy Simon Sinek, one of the most watched TedTalks presenters ever, shares his tips on how to handle nerves when speaking to large audiences:

 

  1. Don’t start talking as soon as you get on the stage - draw the audience in by taking a deep breath, making eye contact, and then standing or sitting in a comfortable position. Speaking immediately conveys fear and nerves to the audience.

  2. Be a giver, not a taker - the idea is to teach and inspire the audience, who’s very intuitive at distinguishing if the speaker is trying to sell a product or idea to them vs. offering helpful insights.

  3. Personalize your eye contact - instead of scanning the room throughout your presentation, focus on making eye contact with audience members one by one.

  4. Speak slowly - as we get nervous, both our heartbeat and speech accelerates. The audience would rather wait on you than miss out on important information.

  5. Focus on your supporters - of course, there are bound to be naysayers in the audience, pay them no attention. Focus on the smiling faces and nods of approval, they’ll make you feel confident while you are speaking.

  6. Show appreciation - always say “thank you” at the end of your presentation, especially when met with applause.


Interested in learning more tips? Check out the full article here.

Presentation DOs and DON'Ts

“REHEARSE, REHEARSE, REHEARSE. DO NOT JUST THINK YOU CAN WING A PRESENTATION."

- BILL BURNETT, CO-FOUNDER AND CEO OF POINTDRIVE

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When it comes to public speaking, there a few factors that can make a presentation go from good to great.

First, DO be organized. Maybe you don’t want to practice your entire speech all the way through (though we recommend doing this at least once). However, assuming you know your material backwards, forwards, and upside down, it is still important to have a mental outline of where you plan on taking your presentation. That way, you don't fumble for words, or zone out and forget to emphasize a certain point.

On the topic of zoning out, DO have a personality for the sake of your audience. As Kevin Daum of Inc. notes, “Not every presenter has to be an actor or comedian, but no one wants to listen to someone drone on in dull monotone.” Another way to showcase your personality is by sharing personal stories or examples. This helps your audience relate to you and better grasp your message.

Still, DON’T try to be funny if you’re not. That sounds harsh. What we mean is humor doesn’t always translate well on-stage and if executed poorly, can even leave someone with a negative impression of you and your brand. If you do happen to tell a poorly timed or convoluted joke that no one understands, don’t fret. Simply move forward with the rest of your awesome presentation.

To ensure your success, DO take advantage of vocal inflections, and DON’T just read from your slides. If you're reading from a screen, no one will want to listen to you. Prevent that by limiting how many words you place on your slides. Changing the pitch or tone of your speech will also spice things up and help you emerge as a more energetic, passionate speaker.

Hungry for more tips? Read more on The Do's and Don'ts of Giving a Killer Presentation here.

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