Five Ways to Punch up Your Presentation

Many of us are faced with the same situation.  You have to give a speech or presentation on a subject that is inherently dull.  How can you add interest and excitement?Pramit Marattha from Pixabay

Here are five ways to spruce up a dull presentation

  • Change the pitch and dynamics of your voice to add variety to your sound. Speak higher and lower, louder and softer.
  • Vary your rhythm.  Decide when to slow down or speed up.
  • Add emphasis and strategic pauses.  For suspense or questions, pauses work well.
  • Use anecdotes.  Explain your points with a personalized story.
  • Involve the audience.  Ask rhetorical questions.

And, if using Power Point, add some entertaining graphics.  These hints are sure to add variety and punch to your presentation.

Do you have any thoughts to share?

Five Simple Exercises for Better Breathing

Deep breathing and the ability to use your breath efficiently are essential for good public speaking.  Breathing helps calm jittery nerves and helps with your vocal projection as well as sound quality.

Here are five easy exercises to get you started.

  1. Stand with your feet facing forward, at hip’s width. In slow motion yawn and take a good stretch.
  2. Take a deep, relaxed breath. Try to feel that you’re inhaling into your feet.  Let the breath out slowly.  Repeat five times, breathing in and out in a slow, relaxed manner
  3. Sit in a chair and feel that your breath is actually going down to the seat of your chair. Breathe out slowly and relaxed.  Repeat five times.
  4. Still seated, close your eyes and concentrate on your breathing.
  5. Lie on your back and become aware of how your breathing feels. It’s often easier to breathe deeply when on your back.

Speaking to a smaller audience

Recently I  attended a new book reading at a local book store, where  about 30 – 40 people were  in attendance.  Even though one should be able to project to a room that size, it was difficult to hear the author and her guest speakers.  They were speaking as if to someone in the front row.

Because  I see this “lazy speak” so often, I’ve jotted down five quick hints to help your audience better hear you.

  • Speak to the person at the very back or end of the room, instead of to the people sitting in front of you.
  • Ask the audience in advance if they can hear you. If not, consider using a microphone.
  • When using a mic, it’s important for it to be at the right distance from your mouth. Speaking too close will distort your sound; holding the mic too far away means it won’t pick up your voice.
  • If using a mic, speak directly into it. Don’t turn your head away when you speak.  Most mics won’t pick your voice up if you turn away.
  • If your audience is spilling over to both sides of the room, include those sides when you speak. Speak to them as well as to the people in front of you.  But, as you turn, be sure the mic turns with you.