Earlier, we discussed planning presentations, but now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of business presentation stagecraft. We’ll begin with the most important tool in your arsenal: your voice.
Your voice tells people a great deal about you. I’m not talking about the words that come out of your mouth but rather how they sound. Your voice can generate excitement, but it can also put people to sleep. Your voice can project confidence, but it can also come across as meek. You get the idea. How you sound is as important as what you say.Since the advent of podcasts, many more people have learned what an important tool their voice can be. What they’ve discovered is that using voice effectively is a craft just like anything else. One podcast narrator recently shared some of his tips for top voice performance that also apply to business presentations.
An underlying principle that comes across in many guides to public speaking is the importance of comfort and relaxation. If you’re nervous it will show. Knowing your material will go a long way toward alleviating any butterflies. The other surefire way to get comfortable is to practice — practice in front of friends and colleagues and ask them to comment on your presentation. It will pay off in front of the client.
Last, but certainly not least, is the catchall advice that we probably all know, but can’t hurt to be reminded of: speak loudly, clearly, and don’t rush.