When it comes to presentations, I’m sure we’ve all experienced the good, the bad and the ugly. When speaking, the engagement factor is a key sign of success – in fact, if your audience is not engaged, it can have a negative impact on your sales pitch, business idea or even your career growth.
Of course, there are many elements to consider when presenting effectively such as maintaining good posture, making eye contact and using hand gestures, to name a few. One of the most important tips I’ve found to help me become a more effective speaker is to choose words wisely or as the great Oliver Wendell Holmes said:
“Speak clearly, if you speak at all; carve every word before you let it fall.”
So in the spirit of speaking clearly, here are my six winning tips:
- Use simple, everyday words and keep your sentences short.
- Use descriptive words with emotion to help your audience see, feel, taste, touch and smell what you’re talking about.
- Use personal pronouns such as I, me, you, us, we, our and them to make your presentation more personal.
- Be passionate and convincing, show your audience what you have to say is important and relevant to them.
- Avoid slang and useless words like, um, uh, ya know, kind a, very, really
- Enunciate and pronounce. Enunciate to project your words clearly and precisely and pronounce sounds of words correctly. Both will also help you to slow your speaking down.