Effective public speaking can be a major strength for financial advisors.
While some of us fumble and grope for words, others seem to lose their voice during a presentation, leaving the audience unimpressed. To make sure this does not happen to you, it is important to prepare for a presentation. Preparation helps you remain calm, improves your performance and you come across as a more confident presenter.
Here are a few tips on how to create an impact with your next presentation:
- Know your audience – Find out who your audience is. Before the presentation, research your audience, their background, what their interests are and why they are coming to see you. This will give you some idea about what they expect from you.
- Practise, practise and practise – Practise in front of your family and friends. It will help you overcome your fear and make you more confident. Also, make note of any suggestions your family gives and work on them.
Record your rehearsals. If that is not possible, practise in front of the mirror. It will help you improve your delivery. You can develop right voice modulation and body language to create a lasting impact.
- Do not mug up, just note down key points – Outline the basic points of your presentation and work on it. Your whole presentation will revolve around these key points. Focussing on key points will help your audience understand where the presentation is going.
- Cut it down – As you practise, you might notice some points that are redundant or off the mark. Cut them down. Ensure that your sentences are simple. Also, it is good if you end the presentation before the given period and use the remaining time to answer questions.
- Let it flow – Try to be eloquent when you speak. It will happen with practise. Your words will start to flow when you are no longer conscious of the audience.
- Work on voice modulation – Although content is king, delivery has a major role to play in captivating your audience. Don’t use a monotone during the presentation. Since you would have practised voice modulation before the mirror, increasing or decreasing your tone to stress important words and phrases will be easy during the presentation. Remember to take a small pause to emphasise certain points and create an impact.
- Focus on body language – Be aware of what you do with your hands and feet. Highlight your main key points with hand gestures. But make sure your hand gestures relate to what you are saying. Never shuffle your feet because that will give away that you are nervous. Make eye contact with audience now and then. This will show you are confident and are able to connect with them.
- Listen to music or do breathing exercises – Calm your nerves before giving the presentation. One way to do this is to do yogic breathing exercises like inhaling and exhaling through alternate nostrils (anulom-vilom) early morning on the day of the presentation. You can also listen to soothing music to relieve stress and anxiety.
- Decide what you will wear – Dressing right can help you create a positive impression on the audience. You should decide your outfit a night before the presentation to avoid any last-minute glitches. Choose formal attire. Avoid fanciful ties and loud blazers.
- Arrive an hour early – Always try to arrive one hour early at the venue. It will give you ample time to settle down and adjust to the surroundings. Check the place where you will be giving the presentation, the seating arrangement and lighting to ensure a smooth presentation.