Thursday, August 11 2022

The ability to present your ideas in a clear, confident, and authentic manner can make a huge difference in the success of your business (and personal). | iStock / Django

Public speaking is high on the list of people’s biggest fears. But the ability to present ideas in a clear, confident, and authentic manner affects your professional and personal success.

Here are some tips from communications experts at Stanford GSB on how paying close attention to word choice, using outlines instead of memorized scripts, and dealing with your anxiety can improve your next presentation.

Great speeches have made paths. Start by asking yourself, “What does my audience need from me?” Keeping the needs of your listeners at the forefront of your mind connects you to them. Focus on what they are there to learn, instead of making sure each of your talking points is said. You can structure presentations using frames such as Cause and Effect or Past-Present-Future.

Making a good impression is not a choice, it is inevitable. And it’s rarely just about what you say, but how you make people feel as you speak. Speaker Allison Kluger explains how you can exude an executive presence, communicate verbally and with your physique, and own the room.

Panel discussions present a unique set of challenges for a speaker: you have to navigate a conversation while getting your point across. You are more likely to be successful if you are well prepared and structure your responses to relate them to other panelists.

How do you start and end your speech? How to make complex ideas more accessible? In this video, speaker Matt Abrahams shares what he knows about creating meaningful presentations that make lasting impressions.

Sort of, sort of, I think … that covering language weakens your idea and messes up your communication, says Matt Abrahams, Stanford GSB speaker. Avoid at all costs. Other habits to reject include the urge to memorize or rely on predictable overtures like “Hi, my name is…”.

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