Learn how to organize a lecture and avoid the nervousness of public speaking – WAU
If you are about to present the results of your marketing strategy, any work, project or initiative, you probably have to deal with the pressure of organizing a talk. You need to make material interesting enough to keep the audience’s attention, but with content, ownership and accuracy. Also, you need to prepare […]
If you are about to present the results of your marketing strategy, any work, project or initiative, you probably have to deal with the pressure of organizing a talk.
You need to make material interesting enough to keep the audience’s attention, but with content, ownership and accuracy.
In addition, you need to prepare for the presentation, so that it doesn’t feel like a simple improvisation.
But how to organize a quality lecture? What points should you keep in mind when preparing to face the audience?
Check out our tips to find out!
In addition to these great recommendations, you can also check out the Super Presentations Kit, which has a perfect template for your presentation, the microbook “Ted Talks: Ted’s Official Guide to Public Speaking” and an ebook with instructions for your presentation:
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In the days before the lecture: how to prepare
To organize yourself for a lecture, it is necessary to pay attention to two essential moments: the before and during.
See, first, what you can do to prepare in the days before the presentation:
1. Choose suitable locations, or adapt your presentation to the environment
This may seem silly, but it is essential to know where you will be presenting.
Often, the type of lecture you intend to give will not be favored by the chosen location.
For example, if it is a very large and vertical auditorium, it will probably be difficult to interact with the audience.
On the other hand, if the place is very intimate and with few seats, your talk may not need to be so formal and traditional.
In fact, these details are also important for you to check if there is a possibility to use audiovisual resources, calculate the number of listeners, among other details that make all the difference on the day of the presentation.
Be sure to check these aspects at the last minute, as they can change the direction of your preparation.
2. Think about your audience
Speaking in public, it is essential to keep in mind the profile of your listeners. This information goes far beyond calculating the estimated audience.
You need to check who the target audience will be in terms of gender, age, interests, preferences, education level, etc.
All these different characteristics of an audience can say a lot about the language tone you will adopt, the topics covered, the technical level of the presentation, among other aspects.
Try to know this information in advance, to already prepare a suitable presentation for the expected audience.
3. Attention to language
From the moment you have the definition of an expected audience, it becomes easier to pay attention to the ideal language for these listeners.
For example, it is very different to give a motivational talk on entrepreneurship to a group of young people and to a group of senior entrepreneurs.
Each of these audiences requires not only different tones of language, but also different forms of approach.
With a group of young people, for example, using a meme can yield interest, engagement and greater impact, while this strategy may simply not work with a more formal group from another generation.
4. Will you use visual aids? Avoid texts
If you are considering using visual aids in your presentation (slides), be aware that a lecture is not a class.
People will hardly pay attention to what you mean if they are encouraged to decode slides full of texts, details and information.
It is okay to insert graphics, punctual information and other types of topics, but you need to focus on the images.
They are often more effective in conducting their speech and encouraging the audience to pay attention to what really matters: the content presented.
Take the opportunity to choose more sophisticated fonts and escape the commonplace!
5. Let the images guide your talk
When choosing visual aids, it is a good rule to let images guide your talk. In practice, what does this mean?
Basically, that they will be your script.
It is as if you had a speech guide throughout the presentation, but focused on photos, graphics and other images, and not on texts, topics and messages. Thus, your presentation becomes more literal, dynamic and interesting for the audience.
This strategy is worth trying!
6. Define your goals
What are your goals? What goals do you intend to achieve through this lecture?
It is necessary to have the answers to these questions, since it defines the content of each lecture.
You can approach the same topic through different perspectives, depending on the objective initially set.
For example, if your goal is to raise public awareness about a problem, or a topic that has just emerged, there is no need to take such a deep approach.
On the other hand, if your audience consists of experts on the topic, it is important that you bring new, specific and in-depth information.
7. Train area synonyms and vocabulary
When we are giving a presentation, as much as we are already familiar with the topic, we end up getting a little nervous.
This can be translated in several ways. Some people stutter, touch their hair, have “whites”, etc.
Another common form of nervousness is the insistence on only one keyword. You forget your synonyms and repeat the same word over and over again, which gives an image of amateurism and lack of preparation.
To prevent this from happening to you, it is worthwhile to train a few synonyms of these keywords.
Make a list of words related to the theme of the presentation, which can be strategically substituted so that you can demonstrate vocabulary skills.
Incidentally, this tip also applies to texts, projects and other types of content.
8. Rehearse before
It is useless to master the theme of the lecture if, when presenting it, you forget the order of the arguments and points to be presented.
Especially for those who are nervous when presenting in public, it is necessary to train a lot the order of their speech, their explanations, examples that cannot be forgotten, etc.
If possible, enlist the help of a co-worker or friend to evaluate your presentation and make constructive criticisms.
At these times, they will be able to assess whether the content is well explained, whether you have addressed all the necessary topics and whether there is fluidity between one speech and another.
9. Prepare auxiliary materials
If possible, enlist the help of auxiliary materials for your presentation.
For example, if you are going to present several graphs, why not print them out in advance and distribute them to the listeners, so that they keep this information after the lecture?
Or, if your presentation has an idea pitch, or a product / service, it is worth your listeners to leave the room with information about how the product and how to contact you.
A good tip is to use professional cards and folders.
10. Enlist the help of others
The larger the size of your presentation, the more important it will be to have the help of others.
For example, preparing slides, spelling and grammatical review of the content, preparing and distributing folders, checking image and audio equipment, among other details.
Being able to count on the help of someone as a support will be a great help, before and during the lecture!
To keep in mind during the lecture
Now that you know how to organize yourself beforehand for a lecture, it’s time to check out what can be done during your presentation. Look:
1. Speak clearly and objectively
Internalize this mantra of anyone who needs to convey an idea: clarity and objectivity are the best ways to get your message across.
People who speak too fast, or who are verbose, end up losing public interest. Your message is lost in the midst of these details and the lecture ends up not reaching its objectives.
Remember to speak slowly, even to give your audience time to process all information, ask questions and understand the topic well.
Also, train your diction to pronounce words correctly, especially technical terms and in a foreign language.
2. Move around
Do not stand on one side of the stage or room while performing. This is the recipe for a tedious talk.
Instead, try to move constantly while you speak. This sharpens the audience’s attention and encourages them to maintain a greater interest in what you are saying.
3. Engage your gaze with the audience
Speaking of interest, another interesting strategy for maintaining public engagement with you is the good old “eye to eye”.
Do not choose just one person to do this during the talk, try to make eye contact with all members of the audience.
4. Think of them as equals to reduce nervousness
It can be very challenging to present to a more experienced or hierarchically superior audience, such as bosses and investors.
These experiences are difficult in themselves, but what you can do to ease nervousness is to treat them as equals.
Remember that giving lectures is part of the routine of any successful person, regardless of the area.
It is important to treat these people in a natural way and forget the credentials in the curriculum of each one.
5. Know how to deal with unforeseen circumstances
Unforeseen events happen! From projectors that stop working, to interruptions and unexpected questions.
None of this is a reason for you to despair, or forget your presentation script.
Instead, learn to deal with unforeseen events naturally, as if they were opportunities for you to gain experience and professional maturity.
Depending on the audience, play with the situation and try to recover the direction of the presentation.
What did you think of these tips on how to organize a lecture? Do you already feel safer to speak in public?
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