You have an important announcement, an anniversary to celebrate or a new product to launch, so you decide to organize a corporate event. Whether you choose a plenary session with workshops or a big company party, you find it important to open the event as CEO. Giving a presentation to a large audience is not something you do every day. We have listed a number of tips for public speaking for you.
1. A good preparation is half the work
Many people feel tense before they give a presentation. There is simply no better way to master your nerves than to be sure of your story. That starts with the basics. Ask yourself the question: what do I want to achieve with the presentation? Do I want to inform, convince, activate, motivate or entertain others? And do you know your audience, so that you can attune your message to the target group.
Then gather as much information about the subject as possible and write a story. Stories are easier for the audience to remember, because they appeal not only to the mind, but also to people’s feelings. Each story has a clear structure: an introduction, a core and a conclusion. Use examples for clarification, metaphors, statistical data or tell an anecdote. This makes a presentation more dynamic.
3. Visual presentation tools
Do you want to use visual aids such as sheets (overhead projector) and digital aids (especially MS PowerPoint)? Remember that tools are meant to support your presentation and not to replace you. Therefore, don’t use too many sheets and don’t put too much text on them. The best TED presentations use photos, animations and limited amounts of text. People remember an idea better when a photo is linked to it.
4. Exercise makes art
Most large speakers have reached their high level by practicing a lot. So practice your presentation, pronounce the text out loud, so you know how long your presentation will last and where any bottlenecks are. For example, a TED presentation should not exceed 18 minutes. TED director Chris Andersen said: “18 minutes is long enough to be serious and short enough to hold the audience’s attention”. In addition, your voice volume, articulation and intonation are important. Tip: film yourself to see what can be improved! When you give a presentation, it is nice to visit the event room in advance. See where you will stand, where your audience will be, breathe in the atmosphere. This way you will become familiar with the location.
5. Personal presentation
The way you present yourself is at least as important as the content. Have an open attitude, keep eye contact with the audience and place your legs firmly on the ground, that makes a stable impression. You can change places from time to time, but limit walking around to the moments of rest. In other words: build in movement, because too much movement can seem restless. Supporting hand gestures enliven your presentation, but here too the rule is: don’t overdo it.
6. Connect with your audience
Try to talk to your audience without them taking the floor. Speak directly to your audience, for example by using ‘You as an employee of…’. Or ask rhetorical questions: ‘Imagine…’, ‘Who doesn’t have …’, check with yourself or …’. Interaction makes a presentation more natural. And don’t be afraid to make a joke: humour makes the audience more open to your message.
7. Round of questions
The audience probably has questions. This is often a signal that your presentation stimulates curiosity! If you don’t like it when questions are asked in between, please indicate at the beginning of your presentation that questions are answered at the end. It can be good to repeat questions to make sure that everyone has heard the question. It also allows you to check that you have understood the question correctly.
Business events at SugarFactory
Many companies have already organised corporate events at SugarFactory. Your event visitors will also be looking out for their eyes. Each SugarFactory space has its own story thanks to the preservation of original elements of the former sugar factory. SugarFactory has various intimate event spaces that can accommodate smaller groups of 50 or more people. However, the Middenfabriek, SugarCity’s largest event space, can accommodate up to 7,000 guests. The possibilities are endless. Do not hesitate to contact us to discuss the possibilities without obligation!
Do you prefer to hire a professional speaker? Earlier we wrote an article to help you find the right speaker for your company event. You can find our tips here. Another option is to choose a chairman who can support you.