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Erica’s Handout on the Art of Persuasion

July 15, 2010

Presenting with Confidence

Remember, presentations are about building a real relationship, so try to

establish rapport by referring to thing you are sharing with the audience.

e.g: Wow, I never knew that (quote previous speaker) or isn’t it a beautiful location etc.

  • Practice making eye contact with people in less formal situations. Notice how it feels to invite them into your space and to focus on you.
  • As you are going to be taking their time and attention, be sure to be confident of your material before you go on.
  • Remember, that people are in the audience because they want to be. The more confident, engaged and enthusiastic you are, the happier they will be too.
  • If you are feeling very nervous – say so – this relieves the tension that the audience will be feeling as they worry about how uncomfortable you seem – be honest! This creates the relationship/conversation that makes a presentation effective.
  • Beginning, middle and end. The beginning is to introduce you and your subject, the end is to summarise what you have said and say thanks. So the middle, ideally, is three clear and memorable points on the subject of your choice. Too little rather than too much is always better.
  • Try not to read off the power point or your notes, try just to use these to prompt your thoughts. Practice in front of a mirror, a camcorder or your mates to get feedback and become comfortable with your material.
  • Acknowledge yourself for your courage. After moving house and someone dying, speaking in public is our third most scary experience!

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