Say: Literally speak your presentation out loud.
Stray: Say your presentation out loud again, but this time stand up on your feet and move. Start to get it "into your body" by working on your gestures, words, and eye contact. This helps build your muscle memory. Remember to think about your Objectives and Tactics here, and don't forget that you can use your notes!
Play: Like you would hit "play" when watching a movie, start your presentation on your feet, speaking it out loud, without stopping. Act as if you were actually presenting it before an audience. In fact, the audience should be the only thing missing. Use all of your technology, wear what you're going to wear and, if possible, rehearse in your actual presentation space.
Although this Rehearsal Process seems like it could take a long time, it doesn’t have to. It could take as little as 15 minutes! And take it from us, as actors, we have used this process for decades, and it works. Not only will it build your presentation into your muscle memory, it will also enhance your confidence and credibility when you stand up in front of the room to present. You'll be so comfortable with your material, you'll feel cool, calm, and collected by the time you take the presentation stage.
Save your Conclusion for last, rather than your Q&A. As a trainer, I often hear people say that impromptu speaking makes them really nervous, especially during a Q&A session. Since we know Q&A’s are inevitable, why not approach them in a way that gives control to the speaker? At the end of your last content section, try saying, “After my presentation, I'll be doing a short Q&A, and then I'll end with some closing thoughts. Please be sure to stick around for those.” That way, you have control over the conclusion of your presentation. Why would you want to end a presentation that you worked on and rehearsed with an unpredictable Q&A? By saving your Conclusion for the very end of your presentation, you have the opportunity to leave your audience feeling positive and uplifted about your content.
The wow factor doesn't happen by itself, overnight. If you really want to impress your audience, it takes time, rehearsal, planning, and a bit of your own personality. However, all of that effort is worth it to bring your listeners a presentation they'll remember.
How do you bring the wow factor? Which speakers do you think really dazzle a crowd? Let us know in the comments below!
Another great way to make things memorable is to tell a story. Check out our 31 Storytelling Techniques and Tips, just in time for the New Year!: