Public Speaking and formal presentation advice

Public Speaking and formal presentation advice
February 20, 2015 Rob Abdul

“This is great, and so generous of you to share your knowledge of what works – valuable stuff for sure” Angi Egan – President of the Midlands Professional Speakers Association

If you are planning a presentation and need some help and advice then this article will help do just that.

P.A.R.K stands for Passionate, Assertive, Resourceful and Knowledgeable. It is a simple framework that I have developed after doing countless presentations over a number of years. I find the P.A.R.K method an easy way to explain to someone who has never done a formal presentation before the key areas to concentrate on.

Think about how passionate you are when you are speaking to friends and family; your personality really shines through. It may seem daunting to be this way in front of strangers in a formal setting. It is not so much about your content or subject area of your presentation than it is to do with you really selling yourself and people liking you for who you are as a person.

Just examine the great leaders of our time past and present and see how their assertiveness re-enforces their message. Also notice how Passionate, resourceful and knowledgeable they come across in their speeches.

Do not be a victim of Death by PowerPoint. A presentation is not just about reading from your cue cards or from a PowerPoint presentation. Only use PowerPoint if it is required and even then only really highlight the key interest areas. Some people give me strange looks when I tell them; all you really need in a presentation is just “You”.

Visual aids are a really powerful if way to convey your message to your audience use them in moderation.

It is vital that you know your subject area intimately facts and figures, past present and future events if they are relevant. By knowing your subject well you invariably give yourself a confidence boost and subdue the nerves monster.

A presentation is really about you really selling yourself, connecting with your audience and having the likability factor. That is only really possible if you are relaxed and are able to be yourself. Always remember to practice, practice and practice as practice makes you perfect. A walk in the P.A.R.K!

Angi Egan was also kind enough to add value to this article by taking time out from her busy schedule to write the following:

If I had to summarise it would be to remember the best presentations are those that feel like a natural conversation – so keep it conversational. The content or words will be forgotten, what does get remembered is how what they said and how they said it made them feel

Power point visuals should be there to reinforce or enhance the message – and even for a 45 minute presentation I’d suggest a maximum of 5-10 slides – keep text big & bold, make it humorous where appropriate, and aim to entertain and educate – every single time

Confidence or assertiveness is a balancing act – there is a fine line between confidence and arrogance – being a little self effacing (rather than self depreciating) creates a great connection with audiences. Let them see a little bit of vulnerability – it’s charming and deeply charismatic

Finally, if they focus on their idea, why it’s valuable to the client and how they can use it they will automatically sell themselves. Move the spot light from themselves and onto the audience and they will win through with nerves and connection

Rob Abdul
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