Speaking to an Audience: 5 Tips to Grab their Attention
Recently I had the opportunity to speak at the Dublin Web Summit about Website Performance.
Over 1,000 people attended the Summit, mainly entrepreneurs and techies. It was a challenge to ensure that the topic would be of interest to everybody, but the presentation worked out well.
Here are 5 tips that I’ve learned over the years from my public speaking experience:
- You are the focus, not the slides: the slides need to support your presentation, but should not be the main focus. A few words per slide is more than enough. This presentation on SlideShare has great tips for creating high quality and non-distracting slides.
- Know your stuff: make sure you know every single bit of what you are talking about and be prepared for questions from the floor.
- Be passionate about it: passion and enthusiasm are an absolute must to ensure that you capture the attention of the audience.
- Be prepared: how much time do you have? Do you have slides? Power Point or PDF? Do you have a pointer? Do you have an auto-cue? Make sure to have answers prepared for these questions or your presentation may be negatively affected.
- Rehearse: for a 10 minute presentation, I rehearsed for about 5 hours. Do it in front of the mirror and in front of your friends. Record and listen to yourself so that you improve your speech quality.
Talking to a vast anonymous audience is not an easy thing. But, with plenty of preparation, you can have the confidence to succeed.