You may be asked to talk in front of your garden club, church, or public meeting. Just the thought of it sends chills down your spine and beads of sweat onto your brow.
Doing these informal talks can be a great benefit to your community. Not only can you market your business and share information, but you are also marketing you as an individual—and getting noticed is a great way to attract new customers and promotions.
Here are 10 quick tips for looking like a pro when making these informal talks.
1. You are there for the audience. They are going to want to know ‘what’s in it for me?’ right away. Tell them and make them want more. In the following example there may be many avid gardeners in the audience. The ‘hook’ is promising to show them ways to reduce the work. Know your stuff!
EXAMPLE: Ever had a Victory Garden? This evening we are going to talk about how to build one and make maintenance a breeze.
2. Let your audience know how to play, in the sense of when to ask questions (at the end), what to do if they can’t hear/see you, etc. This will minimize interruptions, keep the audience focused on the topic, and keep you focused on the end goal of getting done just a few minutes early. Getting them involved in actual play can be fun, but it can also be a bit harder to control.
3. Avoid logistic problems by checking everything before leaving for the meeting and at the meeting. This would include sound, lights, equipment, and the program. Preload any electronic programs and hide/blank the display until you are ready to go. Mark where you should stand.
4. Dress for the audience. If you expect them to be wearing cowboy boots, wear yours. Dress comfortably and bulletproof. Hopefully you won’t be shot, but hopefully that loose button on your shirt doesn’t pop off at the worse possible moment. Check your clothing for possible wardrobe malfunctions just like you would your equipment. While losing a piece of clothing during a presentation is memorable, it may not be the image you want to your audience to remember...
5. Use visual props or prepare to be the visual. Approximately 65 percent of the population are visual learners and benefit from images supporting your message . Not everyone needs an automated program. Props such as handouts, samples, models, posters, etc. count as well. Note that if you hand out something, people will stop listening and read it. Save handouts until the end of the presentation.
Some people don’t need a lot of visuals when they talk and/or the topic that they talk about does not lend itself to visuals. If they are good at it, fantastic, just know that a fair amount of the audience may not be following what is being said.
6. Don’t read to the audience, other than a quick and short quote. Reading to the audience is enough to put folks to sleep and may be too fast or slow for folks to follow. Just don’t do it. Thinking of that don’t insult the audience in other ways as well.
7. Breathe. In an emergency and whenever people are stressed they often breathe poorly. There are several different rescue breathing techniques that can calm one down, and others that can puff you up. All depends on what you need to be healthy and successful. This might also include making sure that your blood sugar is not too low . Have a nibble, don’t go hungry. Again, your comfort is of utmost importance and being able to breathe and maintain your confidence and presence requires some attention.
8. Minimize distractions. This may be distractions created by others and those that you might create for yourself. Nervously jingling keys or change in your pocket, pencil or foot tapping, any number of activities can cause a distraction. Watch for them.
9. Help your audience remember by providing your contact information, a list of references, a list of items (like plants) featured in your presentation, etc. Use the space. A small advertisement for your business may be OK. While this may be a presentation, it may not necessarily be a sales presentation.
10. Leverage eye contact. Eye contact is critical during a presentation. It will help build a connection between presenter and listener, and help the listener be engaged and buy into your ideas. It will also help you calm your nerves. Once you have ended your presentation (a few minutes early) hang out for some near eye contact. This is a golden time for networking, handing out business cards and getting referrals, and addressing quick questions.
Yes the pros have more tricks up their sleeves than just 10, but you can be sure that almost every one of these techniques will be used almost every time a great presentation is made.
 How to Spot Visual, Auditory, and Kinesthetic-Learning Executives (https://www.inc.com/molly-reynolds/how-to-spot-visual-auditory-and-kinesthetic-learni.html)
 STEP 4: Practice Your Breathing Skills (https://www.anxieties.com/57/panic-step4#.XV75M-hKjcs)
 Hypoglycemia (Low Blood sugar) (https://www.diabetes.org/diabetes/medication-management/blood-glucose-testing-and-control/hypoglycemia)
 The Importance of Eye Contact during a Presentation (https://virtualspeech.com/blog/importance-of-eye-contact-during-a-presentation)
 Public speaking quotes: Funny, inspiring insights for your presentation, https://www.sparkpresentations.com/public-speaking-tips-presentation-quotes
Business retention, recruitment, and expansion is needed to build a thriving community. Understanding how to sell your ideas, your service, and yourself are all critical to every business. Here are a few ideas of how to do that!