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Your Power as a Presenter

Are you conducting a sales presentation any time soon?

Apart from having a custom PowerPoint presentation to serve as a visual aid, you need to be in control of the discussion as the speaker/facilitator.

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If you’re nervous, that’s okay because experiencing bouts of anxiety is normal when it comes to public speaking.

Everybody’s been through it at least once, but think of it this way: with presentations, you have the opportunity to talk about something relevant.

Introverts vs. Extroverts

People stereotype introverts as those who isolate themselves from crowds, minimizing their contact with other people. While they tend to be preoccupied with their own thoughts and feelings, they make great public speakers.

Introverts have an attention for detail that is very empowering, especially when it comes to preparing presentations.

Extroverts, though they are more comfortable in the presence of others, can be just as nervous as other people before a presentation. They do, however, bring vision, assertiveness, energy, and the network needed to give them direction.

Whether you’re an introvert doubting your abilities in presenting or an extrovert fearing to go overboard, your credibility lies in your authenticity and eagerness to get your message out there.

Wielding the Power of the Presenter

If you want to be an effective speaker, you must fulfill the following:

Don’t rush—begin with an abstract.

Cluttered content will get you nowhere. Remember, a seamless narrative flow is the best thing that a presenter can provide its audience.

So, before you divide your presentation into subheadings, focus on the primary theme and come up with an abstract. This will help you stay on topic for the entirety of the discussion.

Internalize before delivering your message.

How you deliver your presentation depends on your mastery of the topic. While a well-made PowerPoint can certainly help you stay on track, you still need to know your topic by heart.

The best way to do this is to practice and internalize the flow of your sales pitch. While memorizing may seem like a good idea, internalizing your presentation will allow you to compare and contrast ideas in your own words instead of reading from your slides or notes. This shows your expertise on the topic.

Stick to your outline.

Starting your sales presentation strong will get the ball rolling. If your discussion is following the outline you made, then you can be sure that your conclusion can be easily tied with your starting remark. When you are able to connect your conclusion to your beginning, it shows mastery of the subject. Plus, this is how your audience can gauge your experience as a speaker.

Your purpose as a speaker is to inform people. It’s about helping your audience acquire and understand new information that they can apply in their daily lives or may need when making an important decision.

In essence, to hold power as a presenter, you need to have a complete understanding of your topic, commitment to your beliefs, and willingness to take the conversation further. These skills are applicable to all types of speakers, regardless of whether you’re an introvert or extrovert. As long you’re firm and confident, not only will your sales presentation be effective, but you earn more credibility as a speaker.

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References:

Attilio, Kate. “The Power of a Good Presenter.” Communiqueso. June 13, 2016. communiqueso.com/2016/06/13/the-power-of-a-good-presenter/

Danova, Ilinka. “Extroverts and Introverts in Public Speaking.” LinkedIn. May 13, 2017. www.linkedin.com/pulse/extroverts-introverts-public-speaking-ilinka-danova

Feloni, Richard. “A World Champion Public Speaker Says Introverts Often Make Better Speakers than Extroverts.” Business Insider. May 21, 2016. www.businessinsider.com/champion-public-speaker-says-introverts-can-make-better-speakers-2016-5

Gino, Francesca. “Introverts, Extroverts, and the Complexities of Team Dynamics.” Harvard Business Review. March 16, 2015. hbr.org/2015/03/introverts-extroverts-and-the-complexities-of-team-dynamics

Presentation Tips for Introverts: Conserving Energy

Introversion isn’t the same as being shy.

With enough preparation and focus, introverts are just as capable of being on stage as their more outgoing counterparts.

Though being in the spotlight isn’t something they enjoy, it’s something they can excel at given the right time.

It can also be draining to talk to a lot of people, so pace is important to keep things running smoothly.

Your confidence will naturally grow as you master your topic.

In addition, these presentation tips for introverts can help you further in your preparation.

Conserve Energy

While extroverts draw energy from social interactions, introverts draw their energy from within.

Pacing is crucial to avoid wasting energy while presenting.

If possible, craft a short speech to avoid running out of strength.

A shorter presentation also means that you’ll have more energy to expend engaging with your audience.

Prepare your deck thoroughly so you don’t fumble through your speech and lose your precious energy reserves.

Potential Power

Introverts are good listeners, but they can be good speakers as well.

Here are more reasons why introverts can be excellent public speakers too.

Overstimulation of their senses may cause them to withdraw in social situations.

Thankfully, speeches aren’t completely spontaneous and are conducted in an organized space.

Introverts can devote their time and energy to ensure an outstanding presentation, rather than rely on their personality to wow audiences.

Allocate Time

Use your strengths to conquer your weaknesses and you‘ll be a better presenter with practice.

Devote some time to figure out how you can improve the way you speak and how you structure your topic.

The focus should be on the message you’re trying to convey and not on you.

This kind of mindset takes pressure off of you, which allows you to focus on your content and delivery.

Pretending to be confident will work to your disadvantage because you’ll have to spend more energy trying to sustain this behavior.

Your energy is better spent elsewhere, and the time you spend working on your strengths will give you more room for growth.

Energy = Power x Time

Proper pacing should make delivering a speech look a lot less frightening.

Even if they feel up for to the task, introverts have the right skills to be in front of a crowd.

But they have a limited amount of energy to spend and need to manage it carefully.

Impress your audience through a message with a strong impact to alleviate the pressure to over-deliver.

Some presentation tips suggest faking confidence, but it’s much better to spend time building up your strengths.

With this, you’ll be true to yourself and the message you’re trying to get across through your deck.

Remember: introversion should never be an excuse for a subpar performance.

 

References

Cain, Susan. “Public Speaking for Introverts: 6 Essential Tips.” Duarte. February 1, 2013. Accessed October 23, 2015. www.duarte.com/blog/public-speaking-for-introverts-6-essential-tips
Cherry, Kendra. “What Is Introversion?” About.com. Accessed October 23, 2015. http://psychology.about.com/od/trait-theories-personality/f/introversion.htm

Featured Image: “Shy statue.” by fredrik Andreasson on flickr.com

A Short Presentation Guide for Introverts

Presentations can pose more than the usual challenge for introverts. After all the preparation, an introvert presenter also has to worry about facing a large group of people.

It’s commonly believed that most introverts aren’t particularly inclined to group situations. However, it doesn’t automatically mean that introverts can’t handle pitching to a crowd. Best-selling author Susan Cain is a perfect example.

Unlike their counterparts, introverts are better with intrapersonal or “inward-turning” activities.

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An introvert will have little difficulty preparing the basic aspects of his presentation, like content and design. The real challenge is learning to be comfortable in front of a crowd and making sure all ideas are properly shared with the audience.

If you’re among the millions of people who identify as introverts, here’s a presentation guide that will help you command your presence in front of an audience:

Learn what you can about the audience

You might be better prepared to face a large crowd if you have enough information about them beforehand.

Because introverts are said to be better attuned to the needs of others, knowing that your presentation is exactly what the audience is expecting may put you at ease.

Of course, to get to that point, do some research first.

Learn what you can about the audience so you can tailor your presentation closer towards their expectations. In particular, answer these questions to identify the approach you need to take.

Don’t skimp on practice 

There’s no other way to feel comfortable about presenting than by practicing your skills.

It will take a little bit more time, but it can go a long way in making sure that your presentation is properly delivered and executed.

Even with a tight schedule, you can still set aside some time to practice your presentation bit by bit.

Practice how you want to say each part of your presentation, as well as how you plan to use your body language to emphasize your points.

Continue practicing after everything so that you’re ready when the next presentation opportunity heads your way.

Embrace your anxiety 

It doesn’t matter whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, feeling nervous about a big presentation is completely normal.

Not everyone will feel fully confident about any task if there’s a lot of pressure to perform properly. The harder you try to ignore your anxiety, the more your discomfort will be evident to the audience. All you can do is accept how you feel and work to make sure it doesn’t get in your way.

Start by performing relaxation and movement exercises right before the presentation.You can also try to pump yourself up with some powerful music.

Try to get yourself excited so that you can start at a positive note.

Presentations are hard work, especially for introverts who have to work outside their comfort zone. Use this guide to make sure you’re well prepared to face the audience and create a sustained connection with them.

 

References:

4 Different Ways to Practice Your Presentation Skills.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 15, 2014. Accessed March 11, 2015.
4 Questions to Ask Yourself About Your Audience.” SlideGenius, Inc.. August 28, 2014. Accessed March 11, 2015.
Cain, Susan. “The Power of Introverts.” The Huffington Post. Accessed March 11, 2015.
Introversion.” Psychology Today. Accessed March 11, 2015.
Presentation Set Up: 5 Things to Do Before You Start Speaking.” SlideGenius, Inc. September 2, 2014. Accessed January 28, 2015.
The Power of Introverts. Susan Cain. TED, 2012.

 

Featured Image: Paintings by Robert via flickr