Why You Haven’t Mastered Public Speaking Yet

Do you wonder why public speaking feels so difficult?  And why you haven’t been able to master it yet?  It’s simple really.  You’re too focused on memorizing specific statements, sometimes even exact words and then reciting them.  That’s a sure-fire way to deliver a weak presentation, and you are capable of much better than that.  

Here are two things I’d like to encourage you to do differently moving forward to up your presentation game:

#1. Your presentation should never be a memorized talk that you write down to the exact word.  

Build your presentation based on concepts you plan to generally talk about for each slide.  Have ideas and examples in mind but realize you don’t need to deliver them word for word. In addition, be sure you don’t jam your slides full of text.  Keep your slides simple with an image and a few key words that will lead you to storytell around the concept showcased in the image.  For instance, the two slides below are actually about the same topic – mobile technology.  The one on the left will make any presenter and audience stressed.  The one on the right allows the presenter to take the audience on a journey and reduces the stress of having to say exact words or phrases.

good vs weak powerpoint slides.png

#2. What you say only counts for 50%. 

It’s true, it’s 50% what you say and 50% how you deliver it.  The second you start speaking people are paying as much attention to the confidence in your voice, the outfit you’re wearing, whether or not you’re making eye contact, your body language, and several other little nuances that have a big impact on how well they receive the content you are actually presenting.  I encourage you to pay as much attention to how you present yourself and your non-verbals as you do to building the actual presentation.  My online course on how to master your first impression is a quick and easy way to work on this.  Another thing you can do is film yourself on your smartphone while presenting – whether it’s a practice run or your next real presentation.  By watching yourself on camera, you’ll learn so much about your delivery that’ll help you jumpstart taking your presentation skills to the next level.  

Until next time, follow me on Twitter at @MadeToHire, Instagram, and on Facebook. 

Merryn Roberts-Huntley