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8 Things Keynote Speakers Do To Deliver A Killer Presentation

8 Things Keynote Speakers Do To Deliver A Killer Presentation

It is the day of the presentation, and you are well-prepared. You have spent hours doing research and putting the presentation together – but despite this, you are worried that something may go wrong.
Most people get nervous before delivering a presentation, but it doesn’t have to be this way. There are things that anyone can do to make sure their audience pays attention and remembers.

If you want to improve your presentation skills, check out 8 things that keynote speakers do to make sure they deliver a captivating presentation.

1. State your main points at the beginning, middle and end of your presentation

Repeatedly going back to your main points will help the audience to stay focused – and they are also more likely to remember the points later, too. Start by introducing the points that you want to make and then flesh them out in the middle of your presentation. Finish your presentation by reminding the audience about your points.

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2. Practice

If you know your presentation off by heart, you will feel in control and you will worry less about something going wrong. Read your full presentation out every day in the mirror so that you feel fully comfortable sharing it with other people.

3. Do a run-through on stage beforehand

Visit the venue before your presentation and ask if you can walk through the place where you will be presenting. This means that the setting will be familiar to you, so it will be easier for you to relax.

You can also decide where to walk on from and where to stand, so that you can clear your mind and focus fully on the presentation.

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4. Don’t use bullet points

Bullet points may be expected when it comes to presentations, but that doesn’t mean that they are the best option. Many people switch off when they seem bullet points, as they are not interested by them. Instead consider using an interesting image with a sentence to catch the interest of the audience.

5. Don’t speak until you have found your place

You may be tempted to speak as you walk onto the stage, but the audience may interpret this as nervousness. Instead walk onto stage slowly and don’t speak until you have found your place. This will make you seem confident and in control.

6. Speak slowly

Nervous people tend to talk quickly, as they want to finish the presentation quickly. Often they don’t even realize they are doing this, but the audience are always well aware.

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Focus on talking slowly and loudly – you may feel a little silly, but you will appear calm and confident and your audience will be captivated by each word.

7. Make eye contact

Often people are tempted to scan the whole room when they present, as they think it looks like they are looking at everyone. This actually isn’t the case; as you don’t directly look at any members of your audience, it can actually make it difficult for them to connect with you – and constantly moving eyes can be pretty distracting, too.

Try to look at members of the audience directly as you talk. When you finish a sentence, move on to another person. This method helps create a connection with the whole audience, as you are speaking to them, not at them.

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8. Prepare a closing story

Often towards the end of presentations, the audience starts to lose focus. Regain their attention with an interesting closing story that relates directly to your main points. This will subtly remind them of your main points without being too repetitive, and the story will make them more likely to remember you later.

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Amy Johnson

Freelance writer, editor and social media manager.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

8 Things to Remember When You Don’t Know What to Do with Your Life

8 Things to Remember When You Don’t Know What to Do with Your Life

Sometimes in life, we find ourselves at a dead end, or a crossroads, or on a path that seems to go nowhere and say “I don’t know what to do with my life…”

No matter what stage you are at in life, if you are unhappy with it, or unsure as to how to proceed, then you need to reevaluate.

When I was in high school, I remember thinking that I had to pick a career at which I would be happy for the next 50 or so years of my life. What a daunting task. How do you know what’s going to make you happy for the rest of your life, especially if you’re only 16 and you’re still getting a thrill out of watching “The Breakfast Club?”

You can’t know. You can’t know what’s going to make you happy even five years from now. But you can know what makes you happy now and if you’re current position — or school track — isn’t it, then you need to move on.

When my oldest children were contemplating their college careers and job prospects, I often told them to just go and take classes or try things they thought might be interesting and if they didn’t like the class or workshop or whatever, then cross that off your list. Life is often about trying things and realizing what you don’t want to be when you “grow up.”

I spent a year substitute teaching in an effort to see if I wanted to become a public school teacher. I enjoyed that year immensely, but after talking with teachers and doing some of their job for a year, I realized that was a career that was not for me.

1. It’s okay you can’t figure out the whole future

Remember, you don’t know what’s coming next. Life is full of interesting twists and turns, but if we continually pursue things that we enjoy doing whether for a job or hobby, it will make the journey interesting and more fun.

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Maybe you enjoy making jewelry right now. Maybe you can sell it. In five years, you might be a successful jewelry designer or you might have moved on to another craft. It doesn’t matter. You have the experience of your jewelry design to fall back on and help you with other projects in the future.

2. Try to be comfortable with discomfort

Sometimes life is uncomfortable. Sometimes we don’t have enough money to do all of the things we want to do. If you have something you really want to pursue, then you must be able to live with some amount of discomfort in order to do that.

For example, I want to mush sled dogs and run the Iditarod. In order to do that, I had to give up my neat, tidy suburban home and move my family to a cabin in Alaska.

We don’t have running water or regular electricity and our cabin is much smaller than our old house, but we don’t mind the discomfort of those things because we live in a beautiful place and I get to pursue my dream.

3. Life is uncertain, go with it

Stuff happens. I thought I had it all. I had a great job and a great house in the woods. Then I got fired, lost my house and turned 40 all in the same week. Then I found out I was pregnant. Quite the week.

I laid on the couch for a couple of days, depressed, but then we got it together, made a plan and moved to Alaska.

Take uncertainty and turn it on its head. Every bad thing is an opportunity to make something good happen.

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4. Overcome distractions and stop procrastinating

You’re not getting younger. Sorry, but it’s true. If you don’t start taking the time to pursue your dreams, you might find yourself at the end of your life with nothing to show for it but a lot of Facebook posts and a bunch of TV shows you just had to watch.

If you are serious about pursuing a dream — whether it’s designing jewelry, professional skateboarding or being a rich and famous computer guru, you better get on it.

Take those first steps. Turn off your Facebook notifications and get working. You won’t get anywhere merely thinking about how great you could be.

Better yet, learn these steps to stop procrastinating and start to focus on what truly matters:

What Is Procrastination (And the Complete Guide to Stop Procrastinating)

5. Ask yourself questions

Take some time for yourself. Ask yourself big questions. And small ones.

Learn about yourself. Meditate. Write down the things that interest you and things you could see yourself doing if time and money were no object. Dream big. Quiet your mind and really imagine yourself doing those things.

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6. Volunteer or shadow someone

If there is a job or hobby you are interested in — from grooming dogs to being a zookeeper — volunteer or job shadow and see if it’s an occupation you really want to do.

All the dreaming in the world isn’t going to help you if you don’t go and get your hands dirty. Sometimes, we think we want to do something and then once we try it, we realize it might not be the kind of work we like after all.

Or it might be more involved than we realized. It’s important to get hands-on experience and do a lot of reading by those with first-hand experience before we give up our current life to pursue a dream.

7. Save up

If you need to move or go to school to pursue your new dream, it might be pertinent to get a job doing something — anything — and save up the money to allow you to do it.

I worked for many years to build my writing and editing portfolio and I now I can write and edit articles from my wee little cabin, get paid, and use the money to pay for the equipment and food I need to run my dogsled team.

Would I love to be able to make money just from running dogs? Sure. But it’s not possible right now while I’m building and training my team.

I don’t have a reputation in dog mushing yet, but I do have a reputation in writing. So I do one job I love to pay for the other.

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8. Answer the door

Opportunity may be knocking but if you don’t answer the door, how can you take advantage of it? You must take opportunities when they are presented to you.

Sometimes it’s not the right time, but it doesn’t matter. Opportunities happen when they happen. Answer the door or that opportunity might walk on by and knock on someone else’s door.

Final thoughts

The most important thing to remember when trying to figure out what do with your life is that no action is an action in and of itself. You must make decisions and try things — even if you end up hating them or wanting to do something else.

At the end of your life, you won’t regret trying things and failing, but you will regret not ever trying at all.

Close that laptop and go get your life.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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