TGIS dearies. I am back with tips and advises. Like I always state in my post; all tips, DIY, and guidelines are from personal experience.
- Love yourself: In this age of technology and diverse beauty standards, it is easy to outrightly judge and castigate ourselves because we are not fitting. When preparing for a talk, we tend to be concerned about how the audience will judge or say about our looks, accent, shape, height, hair, beauty, (Omg, so overwhelming). So, train your mind to love you; accept your braces are beautiful, love your curves, your flaws are awesome, your imperfection is perfect. Tell yourself until your mind is convinced that you are more than what the eyes can see; you are intelligent, smart, commander of the five continents, slayer of intellectuals, and mother of successes.
- Be well prepared: this is very important. Preparation gives you an edge and a comeback answer for every question. Make sure you understand the topic, carry out in-depth research, be part of the audience: ask yourself questions and generate answers to any potential questions that comes to your mind. I have a love and hate relationship with giving presentations but one thing I do know is, when you are well prepared, words flow easily, the brain works efficiently and you are on fire and unstoppable.
- Well dressed and comfortable: I can’t stress this enough. I hate when I have to worry about my outfit as well as the presentation. Always dress according to the occasion; if you are giving a talk at an international conference, aim to be formal or semi-formal. Do not wear skinny jeans that need to be pulled up every five minutes. Do not wear a shirt, blouse or top that is too tight to conveniently raise your hand up or make hand gestures (this restrict movement, expression and cast a shadow on confidence. Ensure you can sit properly without the fear of tear, you can raise up your two hands without the shirt opening, your pant is secured without the zip undoing, your shoes are not too tight, your hair are firmly secured without having to pull pack every minute; it distracts.
- Have an outline: This is another ritual of mine. creating an outline gives you an idea of how the slides should be arranged, which sub-topic is next, it gives flow to the talk. For example title page, outline ( sub-topics you plan to talk about), introduction(background), hypothesis/aim, methods etc. Adjust your outline according to your topic. In addition, outline reduces confusion. This will lead to my next point.
- Practise practise practise: whether in front of a mirror, a friend, parents, your teddy bear, just practise and when you do, speak audibly; listen to the sound of your voice, do not practise in your mind. This helps you to set your speech speed, voice volume, detect cracks, full stop and question mark junctions, expose pacing routine, hand movement (too less or too much), register the talk in the brain, aids quick remembrance. Do you know that when you practise well, you would be able to visualise your notes and slides in your head, to the extent of knowing the sequence of your outline and what to say?
The good news is it gets easier and enjoyable after you say the first statement. I hope these personal observations and tips also help you.