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text 2021-02-23 07:52
5 Easily Overlooked things During Online Presentations

 

Nowadays, more people than ever are doing online presentations and online talks with an audience. Whether it is webinars or business calls on some of the online conferencing software options, you are probably experiencing the same shift. 

There is little doubt that online conferencing comes with a set of challenges, which are different from when you are doing in-person public speaking. And while you may be well-experienced to handle the in-person task just fine, the online part is a bit different. There are various things you may forget to address, which will negatively impact your performance. Do consider them all: 

  • Lighting – many people use lighting that comes from behind them. Sometimes this is not a problem if it is a moderate amount. But, if you are standing in front of the window, and the camera is facing it, and there is a lot of sunlight coming through, you will make it very difficult for people to see your face. Your face will be a shadowy silhouette, which makes it rather uncomfortable to look at. Instead, you should have a light fixture that delivers soft glow from the front, so that it illuminates your face. The idea is that you want to be as visible as possible, and not have others squint at you. 

  • Noise – sometimes, this can be difficult to address. If you have a pet at home, it can be near impossible to have them make zero noise. Same goes for children if they like running around and yelling. The best thing you can do is find yourself a quiet room and close the door. Ask any members of your family to leave you in peace for the time of your online presence. As fir noise coming from outside your home, that is not entirely under your control, so nothing can be done. 

  • The way you dress – some people take advantage of the fact that their online audience will only see them from the shoulders up, and pay little attention to the way they are dressed. They can be in shorts, or sweatpants during an important presentation. But that is not the ideal way to go about it. First, you want to feel like you are standing in front of the people in-person. This will change the way you speak and the way you behave. Second, it will affect the way you stand in front of your camera. You may think these are subtle things, but in reality, they can affect your performance quite a lot. 

  • Camera – the best position for your camera is the same level as your face or just a little above that. Many people just leave their cameras pointing upwards, showing their faces from a really strange angle. You want to make it feel for the others like you are standing on the same level as them. This makes it easier for them to track your face and everything that you are saying. 

  • Ignoring your audience – one thing about online presentations is that the presenter can forget to give their audience a chance to participate. The main issue comes from the fact that others might not feel comfortable interrupting. And while during an in-person presentation someone can just raise their hand to ask for attention, they cannot do the same during an online talk. Instead, you should consider this and ask if anyone else has any questions up until this point. You can also have others ask their questions at the end, as long as you strictly give them the word. 

These are all important aspects of online presentations that you should not forget about. They can secure the success or lead to a failure of your presentation. 

© Presence Training

 

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text 2020-11-26 17:56
5 Confidence Boosting Tips for Online Meetings

 

Zoom meetings and other virtual solutions have pretty much become the norm nowadays. More and more people find the only solution to continue work from home, and this is a way for them to stay connected. 

 

But this change in the way you conduct meetings may seem hard to adjust to. A virtual environment is nothing like meeting people face to face, and doing presentations online may not be your strong trait. To gain some confidence, you can adopt a few tactics: 

 

  • Do a lot of practice in front of the camera – how do people get better at something? Well, they practice and then practice some more. You cannot expect to feel good about something if you haven’t practised it enough. In the case of doing online meetings, you don’t even necessarily need to practice with real people. You can ‘cheat’ a little by practising just in front of a camera. You will then feel more comfortable in a real online environment when the time comes. 

 

  • Preparation is key – perhaps the best way to feel confident in an online meeting is to prepare yourself for it. Know what topic you will be discussing, what data is needed, what other people may need of you. And if you are only asked to observe, it is best to prepare some actionable points, which you can add to the meeting when an opening arises. Basically, the better prepared you are, the more confidence you will feel and less stress and anxiety about it. This is a great tip that works great for any public speaking performance, but it translates well into online meetings as well. 

 

  • Your appearance matters – most people usually tie their confidence in the way they look. That is also true in the virtual world, even though you are only visible from the torso up. Consider what physical features of yourself you feel are more frustrating and proactively address them. For instance, if you feel like your skin doesn’t look good on camera, employ some form of skincare regimen. Whatever it is, you can actively make yourself look better and thus gain some of that much needed sweet confidence in front of the camera. 

 

  • Become more familiar with technology – another way to be more comfortable during online meetings and presentations lies with increasing your knowledge of the technology used. Taking the time to learn all about the new platform and hardware till you are comfortable with it to the point where it doesn’t bother you. When you are unsure of the means of online meetings, you are losing focus and worrying extra about it, which can be problematic in many ways. 

 

  • Speak up – sometimes you have an idea of what you will say in your head. And then, the time never comes. The meeting ends, and you have not shared your ideas. Your goal should be to speak up, as this is going to boost your confidence. You may think that keeping it to yourself is the way to go, but in the end, you will just hate yourself for keeping quiet. Find the right phrases to speak up and wait for the right moment. Don’t just interrupt people mid-sentence, as that is just rude. ‘That concerns me a little’, ‘I have a question about ….’, ‘I have to say’ are all good phrases to use and get some attention. 

These are all working tips to boost your confidence in online meetings. Use them all and you will see that they have a positive effect. 

 

© Presence Training

 

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text 2020-08-15 07:21
4 Ways to Learn Public Speaking Skills

 

 

 

To many people, public speaking presents the number one fear in the world. They rank it as the worst thing they can go through. And the fact that many people believe that a good public speaker can only be born and never made doesn’t help one bit. 

 

The reality of things is that everyone has the potential to become good at public speaking. No matter how much anxiety you get at the idea and how stressed you are, there are ways to help you overcome this fear and allow you to learn the skills that good public speakers possess. There are several things you can consider in regards to learning public speaking skills: 

 

  • A public speaking course – the first thing you can do, to become a more confident and capable speaker is to take public speaking courses. There are many benefits to doing that. First, you get access to a wide range of experts, who can teach you all sorts of valuable skills and tricks that can help you get your message across. Second, by working with professionals, you will learn to manage your fear and gain much-needed confidence for a good performance. Last, but most definitely not least, there are online public speaking courses that you can take advantage of, which are very convenient and easy on your schedule. 

 

  • You can watch other public speakers – learning by watching others is a good way to spot what skills they have and what makes them good at public speaking. There are many famous speakers out there, whose speeches have left a mark in history. Check them out and see what sort of words they use for the occasion and how they resonate with the audience. Also, see some videos of famous speakers, to catch a glimpse of their body language and how they use that to emphasise their own words and reinforce their beliefs. Mind their style and how you can use them as a prime example to develop your speaking methods that serve your needs. 

 

  • Practice with others – if you truly wish to hone your public speaking skills, you need to practice more. Thankfully, there are plenty of opportunities for that. For example, you can try doing public speaking with your closest friends and family members. Once you feel more comfortable, engage in such activities with your co-workers and during other social interactions. The more you speak to others, the more confidence you gain in your abilities. It won’t be long before you feel prepared to speak to any group and in any situation. 

 

  • Record yourself on video – this is a strategy that many public speakers use as part of their preparation process for a big speech. They rehearse by recording themselves on video and then watching it closely. This allows them to catch on certain mistakes they are making in their speech or body language. You may think this is strange, but a simple recording can reveal details like where you look during your speech, and how much you wave your hands around. These details only seem minor, but in reality, they are an important part of the speech/presentation that you cannot afford to neglect. 

 

As you can see, there are quite a few ways to practice your public speaking skills and become better at it. It is up to you to pick the one method that works best for what you want to achieve. It is better yet if you can combine a few of them, to reap the best rewards. 

 

© Presence Training

 

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text 2020-04-13 10:10
6 Common Presentation Blunders to Avoid

 

Doing presentations is not an easy feat, especially if you feel like you are getting anxious just at the thought of it. A lot of people feel under immense pressure when they are about to present, and so they make mistakes. According to experts, the best learning process you can make involves learning the potential mistakes and working your way around them. As you get to avoid them, you will find that presentations are not as tough as you once believed. Let’s check out some of the common blunders people run into when it comes to presentations: 

 

  • Little preparation – more often than you would imagine, a good presentation doesn’t go as planned because the speaker has not invested the needed time for preparation. It takes a good effort to find a balance between the professional and the personal aspects of the presentation. There are personal elements – body language, appearance, voice. Then there are the professional parts of it – the content, the subject and the visuals/media that contributes. Preparing all of the fine little details of these 2 aspects is perhaps the most important first step to a killer presentation. 

 

  • Wrong use of visuals – it is not a secret that visuals turn a presentation from good to great. However, visuals have the potential to detract from the content, instead of enhancing it. Slides get unattractive if they are overcrowded. Lengthy paragraphs repel people’s attention, rather than attract it. Instead, a good presentation should feature minor points in bullets, instead of lengthy paragraphs. Learning these simple principles can lead to visual enhancement, which will serve you well on your presentations. 

 

  • Having no clue about the audience – the best presenters out there know that they have to do a custom design of their presentation, which fits the audience. Knowing as much as possible about the people who will listen to you is crucial. Their demographics, occupation and age, as well as how much they know about the topic in question constitute valuable data, which will help you design the presentation in the best possible way. Researching these factors could mean the difference between success and failure. 

 

  • Using inappropriate humour – just a single off-colour joke can render your further efforts futile. People may get offended and it is always better to consider ‘neutral’ humour, rather than one that goes too far. You may think that what you are saying is funny, whereas in reality people might be sensitive to it and view you as unprofessional. It is best to be highly considerate of this when doing any kind of presentations. 

 

  • You start or end late – when it comes to presentations, there is the clock you need to abide to. It is never a good idea to start or end a presentation late. People in the audience have their time restrictions and they don’t want to feel stressed about it, because of you. Practice your presentation so that you stay within the allotted amount of time and always be on time at the start. 

 

  • You are cramming too much into a short presentation – you have to learn how to cut back/cut out material. If the time you have for your presentation is short, you will need those skills, to make a workable presentation. You can pass extra information in the handouts, remove minor details and only focus on the important stuff. 

 

Knowing more about these all too common mistakes will enable you to better create the best presentation. Always try to improve and stay on top of your presentation game. 

 

© Presence Training

 

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text 2020-01-06 02:40
6 Important Things That Public Speaking Courses Teach You

 

If you were to ask a few people whether they are scared of flying, or insects or snakes, you will get some positive answers. However, if you were to ask the same people whether they fear to give a public speech, it is more than likely that 90% of them will say they dread the experience. A lot of people are afraid of public speaking, and that is nothing extraordinary. 

One thing that can help in this situation comes in the form of public speaking courses. Picking a company that offers such services and working with a proven expert on public speaking is a good way to master your skills and overcome any fear and anxiety. There are a few important things that public speaking courses teach you, explored in brief in this article: 

  • You learn that being nervous is normal - there are many physiological reactions to standing up in front of an audience and giving a speech. Your heart begins to race, you feel shortness of breath, and your hands begin to shake. One of the most important things that public speaking courses teach you is to not relate these feelings with your performance. In other words, that adrenaline rush you get as you stand up in front of the audience can be something you use to become more alert and focused, instead of a hindrance. That way you can welcome your feelings of nervousness and use them to nail the presentation you are doing. 

  • You begin to pay more attention to your audience - doing a public speech is all about reaching other people. During your courses, you will learn that to craft your message in accordance with the audience is key and that it should be your major goal at all times. 
  • The way to organise your speech - organizing your speech most efficiently is important and that is something you will learn from public speaking courses. Researching the topic and preparing your material are both very important aspects of the speech and it is a good idea to go through them effectively. 

  • Learn how to receive feedback and adapt to it - sometimes the audience gives you a clear indication that you are doing something wrong or that you are doing something right. If you notice people with absent-minded look who are checking their phones all the time, perhaps you need to step up your game. Alternatively, if people are lively and follow your every word with interest, then you are doing something and should continue in the same manner. 

  • You become a better communicator - giving a public speech is all about forwarding a message and making sure that it is well understood. Sadly, that is not always the case in your daily life. Yet, attending public speaking courses can often help the situation quite a bit. You will learn how to craft and communicate your message more clearly, to achieve the desired effect and avoid misunderstandings. 

  • You learn to be more mindful of your body language - it is not only important to be a good communicator, but also to use effective body language. The way you move in front of the audience, the way you use gestures to stress certain points of your presentation and a whole lot of other non-verbal ways of communication are essential for your success as a speaker. Mastering those is possible with the help of a public speaking course. 

There is much that you can gain from getting yourself involved in a public speaking course. In doing so, you will greatly improve in a variety of ways. 

 

© Presence Training

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