5 Tips to turn anyone into a charismatic presenter02 Oct 2022
Some people are born outgoing and charismatic and they seem to be naturally good speakers and presenters. For others who are a tad introverted or shy, public speaking and presenting are a bit more of a struggle. Fortunately, charisma and confidence are characteristics and skills that can be acquired and developed over time and with practice. Here are five ways in which you can work on the skills you need to be a persuasive, engaging and charismatic speaker and presenter:
1) Know your subject matter
As soon as people are familiar with the topic they’re speaking about, making a speech or presentation automatically becomes easier. When it’s clear that you’re knowledgeable about your topic and can relate to it, your audience will instantly feel more inclined to listen attentively, and an audience that’s actively paying attention can help boost your confidence in a type of positive feedback loop.
2) Use relaxation techniques
Psychologists have developed a wide range of calming tools you can use to alleviate your anxiety and help you feel at ease when speaking in public. Many folks find one specific “grounding” exercise very helpful. As the University of Rochester’s Medical Center explains, you use your five senses to help you calm down. Essentially, you think of five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. This helps bring you fully into the moment and get you “out of your head.”
3) Smile while speaking
It’s long been known that forcing yourself to smile can often make you feel happier and more relaxed. As Verywell Mind explains, it’s because the physical act of smiling alone stimulates the amygdala (the brain’s primary emotional centre) which, in turn, releases endorphins, the brain’s “feel good” chemicals. Like being clearly familiar with what you’re talking about, smiling helps your audience feel more connected to you and care about what you have to say, again creating a positive feedback loop.
4) Incorporate personal stories
While this trick might be a little challenging depending on the topic you’re presenting, it can be helpful to weave a few short anecdotes into your speech. Telling stories about yourself makes you come across as more human (rather than a robot reciting a speech) and will help your audience connect with you. As Forbes explains, because they’re stories unique to you, they’re easy to tell and have the same effect as knowing your speech topic really well.
5) Switch it up
The worst presenters are those who speak in a monotone at the speed throughout their speech or presentation. This type of speaking will instantaneously cause your audience to lose interest and a visibly disconnected audience is a surefire way to make nervous speakers feel even more anxious. Pay attention to how fast you speak, your tone and your pitch and make sure to add variety where appropriate.