本帖最后由 inmatureTIPS 于 2019-01-25 02:05 编辑
Research presentation 2: Five actionable tips to prepare a confident speech.
Hey, it’s Dr. Liu here with Better LIFE Research TIPS. Today I will show you the five tips you should know for preparing a confident oral presentation. In order to deliver a confident presentation, first we need to have good material that can actually bring values to our audience. But even after we have done some good research, and we also tailored our material for our audience, and thus we have good reasons to believe that we will create values for our audience, many of us may still have some stage fright simply because we are not well prepared for the speech. And here are the five actionable tips that can help you to prepare your speech so that you can deliver your speech in a confident manner.
The first tip is to organize our material around key ideas. In the previous video, I recommended to use the 3 parts structure. You may use 4 or 5 parts if you need. The key is, each part has only one key idea. And then we should organize our stories, examples, and details around these key ideas. In addition to the problem, solution, and benefit structure, there are many other structures we may choose. For example, we may use, what, so what, and now what. In this structure, “what” is the heart of the message, “so what” tells people why does it matter, and “now what” is the specific directive. We may also use comparison, contrast, and then conclusion. These three structures are recommended by Matt Abrahams, a communication professor from the business school of Stanford University. Another useful structure is to put conclusion first, then reason, then action. This structure is highly efficient and is commonly used in the business world, especially for short presentations.
For longer presentation, you may want to add some bullet points under each key ideas. If we have 3 parts, each part has one key idea, and under each idea, we have 3 bullet points, then we have 9 key bullet points in total. It should be enough for most presentations. Three is a magic number that human brain can easily handle. It is easy for us to memorize, and it is also easy for the audience to absorb and remember. You may use a different number as needed, but here I just use 3 as an example. As we prepare, we should be focusing on memorizing these 9 key points. When we have too much material, it may be a good idea to use a story board on a wall to help organize our material around the key points. Another good practice is to identify the most important ppt slide for each key point, so that they can be used as a reminder on stage, when it is time for us to talk these key points.
It would be much easier and take less time to memorize only the key points instead of trying to memorize the whole speech word for word. If we try to recite the whole speech word for word in a linear fashion, there is a high chance we may forget, or even blank out on stage, especially when we already have some stage fright. Even if we succeed in memorizing the whole speech, we often look inauthentic or robotic when we try hard to remember what to say. Therefore, in order to deliver a more authentic and energetic speech, we should be focusing on memorizing our key points only, and the rest should be unscripted, and generated naturally from our heart on the stage. In order to be able to do that, we need to internalize our material.
So the next tip is to internalize our material by endless practice. There are two keys here. First, since we have structures, we can practice the small piece under each key point individually. When we practice, we should not rely on any visual aids. We may just mumble to ourselves in very low voice repeatedly. In this way, we do not need a big chunk of time for practice. We will be able to find more time for practice. We can practice while walking to school, shopping in the mall, running in park, or resting in bath room. And when we practice, we should practice in different order of the key points. Today, we practice the problem first, then solution, then, benefit. Next day, we may practice benefit first, then problem, then solution. In this way, our memory is strengthened and will not rely on the linear order.
Also, as we practice, each time we should try to describe our key points from different angles, using different language. In this way, we internalize our material. We become so familiar with them that we can explain the same key points in 5 different ways. When we are on stage, we just choose the language happen to come into our mind naturally, depending on the real time situation. For non native English speakers like me, we may need a little bit more time in practice to translate our ideas into correct English, and to explain things in different ways. But it is a good practice, and totally worth it.
The third tip is to visualize when we practice. When we practice alone, we can visualize we are talking to a good friend. We should try our best to use conversational language. Also, as we practice, we may also visualize we are actually giving the speech in the exact same room for our presentation. Picture the positive response from the audience in our mind will help us to improve our confidence. Of course, it is a good idea to rehearse before our friends or video tape our speech for perfection, and to visit the presenting room in advance. But when we do not have that luxury, we can always visualize them in our mind.
The forth tip is to scrip the first few sentence precisely. Generally, we do not want to memorize our speech word for word. But for the opening, it is an exception. We do not want make mistakes for our opening. Once we deliver a well-designed opening successfully, our nerve will be calmed, and the rest will be much easier and they will come out naturally. The closing should also be carefully designed. In fact, when we prepare our speech, it is often a good idea to design backward. First, we design a strong closing and conclusion based on the main purpose of our speech, then we move backward to select material that is needed to support that conclusion, and lastly we design an interesting opening that is appropriate for our content.
The last tip is to have some backups. Sometimes part of our stage fright comes from the worry that we can not finish our speech on time. Therefore, it is always a good practice to have some flexibility in our material. We should recognize that it is never possible to deliver all we know about the topic to our audience. We should be satisfied as long as the key points are delivered. It common if we may forget some prepared words on stage, and we should be OK with that. Therefore, we should always prepare more than we will be able to deliver. A simple strategy is to prepare a few ppt slides on technic details that is usually not counted in our talk, but they can be used when we accidently finish early, when we have extra time before closing. Backup slides may also be prepared for expected questions. And it is also a good idea to practice for mistakes, and have some backup plan for contingencies. After we have more control on time and potential mistakes, we will be more confident on stage.
Thanks for watching, I am Dr. Liu with research tips for the underdogs. Presentation skill is a skill that can change your life. So until next time, let’s keep practicing. Our life will be better.
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