Want to improve your English public speaking skills?
I will help you become a more confident and effective presenter,
so you can wow your clients and smash that deal or make that sale.
"Del is a very versatile English teacher, he is helping me on my accent reduction and business presentation skills which are key in my line of work. I been in IT consulting for last 16 years in London but never learned subtle details of giving a great presentation. Del is helping me on my tonality, pacing my speech with slides, body language etc. I highly recommend Del not just in English speaking but also Business Presentation skills for whole holistic approach."
Communication Skills - Public Speaking
20 Years Public Speaking Experience
What Are Presentation Skills?
The key to a good presentation is to get your message across in a clear, concise and effective way.
They are the skills you need to deliver engaging and effective presentations to a variety of audiences. These skills cover a range of areas such as the design of your slides, the structure of your presentation, the tone of your voice and body language.
The key to a good presentation is to get your message across in a clear, concise and effective way. Many people find this challenging and stressful, especially if English is not their mother tongue.
“I still get butterflies when I give presentations but now I just make them fly in formation.”
We’ve all had butterflies when speaking publicly. Your stomach ties itself in knots and you feel tense, dry mouth and strained breathing.
I heard a good anecdote from a very experienced and confident public speaker, “I still get butterflies when I give presentations but now I just make them fly in formation.” Yes, we can get control of our fear and we can even use that adrenalin to our advantage.
The first step to controlling anything is to first understand it.
The cause of fear is (a feeling of) insecurity and/or an unfamiliar or uncontrollable threat.
Regarding presentations and public speaking, this is usually due to:
- Lack of confidence, and/or
- Lack of control (or a feeling of not having control) – over the situation, other people (the audience) and our own reactions and feelings
- And (in some cases) possibly a bad memory or experience from our past.
These effects are heightened according to the size of the audience, and potentially also the nature of the audience/situation. Imagine giving a presentation to a class of 25 six-year-old children, then, imagine giving a similar presentation to a group of 25 rich and influential businessmen. We would probably be more nervous and anxious with the group of adults. So audience size isn’t the be-all and end-all; situation and audience play a big part too.
Experience can be gained simply by practising public speaking as often as possible in comfortable surroundings and situations…
The cause of anxiety and stress is probably due to the heightened need to perform, impress, control etc.
Low confidence and control usually stem from:
- Inadequate preparation / rehearsal, and/or
- Low experience.
Preparation and rehearsal are usually very manageable elements. Presentations which do not work well have usually not been properly prepared and rehearsed.
Experience can be gained simply by practising public speaking as often as possible in comfortable surroundings and situations and then, moving on to less comfortable surroundings and audiences.
So, experience is manageable also, although this may be more difficult to achieve.
This is where I come in – Using tried and tested methods, I will help you to prepare and rehearse your presentation.
Losing Your Audience
If what you’re doing or saying is not working, do something else.
One of the worst feelings as a presenter is that you have lost your audience. We’ve all seen it happen and the presenter just stumbles on regardless as people check their phones and start staring into space.
This is especially relevant in this digital era we are living in. With more and more communication being undertaken online via video conferencing apps, it is essential to have a good presence to keep your audience’s attention.
Usually, the people present at your presentation are there by choice. So they want or need to listen to what you have to say. They have given you control, you ARE in control. If you see that something isn’t working then change things up a bit, they won’t know. After all, you are the ‘expert’.
You can do this by:
- Asking questions from your audience to gain their attention and make them do some thinking. This is also useful to see if they have been listening and how much they have understood. It also engages them and helps them to focus more.
- Skip through some less relevant and important slides to ones they may be more interested in.
- Ask the audience if you have missed something that they were hoping to hear or have clarified.
- Say that people are looking sleepy and suggest a break or a leg stretch.
Identify Your Audience
Fail to plan, plan to fail.
One of the most overlooked aspects of presenting is discerning who the audience will be and preparing accordingly.
An easy example is the illustration earlier of the class of kids and a group of adults. We wouldn’t pitch our presentation the same way to both groups, if we did, then one group would be overwhelmed and the other would feel condescended to.
This is where preparation is the key! You’ve all heard the analogy – fail to plan, plan to fail. It’s very true, especially in the presentation world.
It is essential to identify the characteristics, knowledge and needs of your audience so that you are delivering the ‘right’ presentation to the ‘right’ audience. By spending time getting to know your audience beforehand, you will be able to deliver your presentation more engagingly and beneficially. Ask yourself questions such as, ‘What is the purpose of my presentation? What are the main points I want my audience to take away from it?’ This will help your preparation to be more focussed and ultimately to be more beneficial and enjoyable to your audience.
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I have 20 years of English public speaking experience, speaking regularly to groups of around 70-100. Let's talk.