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Seminar Presentation Skills - Key to your Success

Seminar Presentation Skills - Key to your Success

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Public speaking is an art. Addressing people and getting their attention gives you many advantages in life. It is observed that the biggest fear people have is the fear to address the group from a dais. But in fact, once you get the grip over this art, speaking from a dais will become a child’s play. Once you get mastery over this skill, you will be a welcomed guest everywhere.

Let me tell you one interesting fact. What do we call the fear to face the audience from the stage? Most of the people say it is ‘Stage fear’. In fact, Stage Fear, there is no such word in English. The right word is “Stage Fright”.

In this article we are going to learn elaborately, the nuances of Public Speaking, Project Review Seminar or Paper Presentation.

In this article you will get very scientific and mind-blowing tips to give a very powerful presentation. It is a sure shot remedy for all your Public Speaking phobias and myths. It serves the purpose of a panacea.

The topics that we are covering in this article are
  • Why should we give Seminar?
  • What is a seminar?
  • How to overcome the stage fright?
  • How to get the first impression from the audience?
  • What audience would like to listen?
  • The main parts of the speech
  • Time allocation for each of these parts
Why should we give a seminar?
First of all let us understand why should we give a seminar? Once we understand the purpose, it will be easy to organize our ideas. Accordingly we can develop the content to present.

It means that we are getting clarity about the purpose of our presentation, then our ideas will get sharper and we can clear off the clutter.

Most of the times we give a public address,
  • For better relationships
  • To inform
  • To ask
  • To question
  • To answer
  • To understand
  • To advise
  • To teach
  • To train
  • To Motivate
  • To Create Action
  • To Entertain
  • To propose
  • To appreciate
  • To sell
  • To Inform
  • To Educate
  • To guide and
  • To criticize
Now let us understand the Presentation Skills and Seminar Skills

What is a Seminar?
We can define a seminar as “Presenting your ideas & concepts in a way, to convince every individual in a public gathering”. Here though the speaker is playing a pivotal role, it gives the scope to interact with the audience face to face on the spot.

It is a perfect platform to convince a large gathering and to circulate the concepts in a quick and practical way.

How to overcome the Stage Fright?
Whoever you may be, you need to address the public gathering at one point of the time or the other in your life time. You cannot avoid it. You just cannot escape it. It is perceived by the majority of the people public that public speaking is a torturous experience.

I observed many people running away from the podium. I witnessed many eminent people, who are very successful in their chosen field, getting cold the moment they are asked to address the gathering. They give some silly reason to evade the occasion. Had they been good communicators on the dais, it would be like adding one more feather into their cap.

There is a popular joke on stage fright. Once one gentle man, with great stage fright, reached the centre stage, took the mike, started speaking; “before reaching the dais, I know and God knows what I am going to speak today. Now, after reaching over here, God only knows, what I am going to speak”

Let me give you few powerful and practical tips to come out of this fear psychosis.
Fear and pressure are not bad signs first of all.

Yes I am talking about positive pressure and being cautious. We just don’t go in the wrong side of a road, why? it is because we want to lead life cautiously.

In the same way, if a student doesn’t have the positive pressure he would never study for the examination.

If you develop a positive pressure before a seminar, it will definitely improve your preparation and it will definitely make yours, an awesome presentation. Otherwise, you may take things lightly and the performance would be awkward.

However, once the pressure becomes fear or phobia the trouble starts. All our fears, worries, memories are stored in our mind. Our mind stores the data in the form of visuals. Unfortunately, we supply negative visuals to our subconscious mind. Of course we do it inadvertently. Our subconscious mind stores the visuals and supplies to us at the appropriate time. Public Speaking, the moment we hear this word, we get fear. Cold sweats, butterflies in the stomach.

What could be the reason?
If I utter the word- Flower, what do you get in your mind? a picture of a flower. Am I right? In the same way if I say the words
  • Car
  • Road
  • Traffic Signal
  • Marriage Party
  • A lion
  • A lady
  • Sachin Tendulkar etc, your mind is getting the suitable visuals.
In the same way, the feelings like happiness, sorrow, nervousness, hesitation etc, are also stored with suitable pictures in the sub-conscious mind. Whenever you are getting fear psychosis towards something, it simply means that, your subconscious mind is supplying negative picture to you, at the very thought.

If you fear, public speaking, it means that you are getting negative visuals from your memory bank. They may range from, teasing audience, who are shouting loudly, throwing rotten tomatoes, eggs on to you, audience who are not at all listening to your speech, the pictures where you are dumb folded, mumbling for the words, stammering and stuttering in front of the whole gathering, irate organizers looking at you.

There is a saying, tit for tat. Your mind is supplying you negative pictures. Fine. It’s quite fair on its part. You need to tackle it, with the same technique.

Technique 1
Relax. At least one week before the actual seminar, you start using this technique. If you have a short notice, do it whole heartedly one day before also.
What simply you need to do is, just sit peacefully in your room. Or where ever you feel comfortable. You start imagining as if you are giving a powerful seminar. Try to get as clearer picture as possible. Get every detail of the picture, imagine as vividly as possible, with all the minutest details. Let there be full of enthusiasm and happiness in your imagination. You are a winner all the way. Full attention from the audience, accolades from your friends, congratulations from your HOD… in this way every visual, which symbolizes your success be part of your imagination.

In a word you are the star performer in that visual. Mind you, it is your own picture; you need not share this with anybody. You are the creator, it is for a noble cause, it is to help you and it is to make you a winner. More importantly, for S.S.Rajamouli’s magnum opus production- Bahubali, or Rajanikanth’s-Kochadaiyaan, it may require crores and crores of rupees to be spent. But for this picture in your mind, not even a single paisa is required to be spent.
It’s power is enormous, it changes your life.

Start getting a positive picture, where you are speaking very easily. A great pack of audience is awestruck with your speech. You are mesmerizing the audience with your presentation which is full of gesticulations. The audience is clapping every now and then.
In this way, if you start visualizing on a regular basis, for at least one week, your mind will get completely filled with positive visuals about the Seminar Presentation. Thus, next time whenever you think of Seminar, your mind will give you enthusiasm and new energy instead of fear. So, mind’s language is visual language, it stores that data in the visual form, we have just trained our mind to assist us in a positive way.

Technique 2
Start giving positive affirmations to you on a regular basis. Just feel confident about your knowledge, your depth of the subject. Give more and more mock presentations among your family members and friends, before you head for the real seminar.

Technique 3
This is a secret; it is just between you and me. Ok!
Just start visualizing all the audience as nursery students. Yes, I mean it. Do not give unnecessary hype in your imagination about the knowledge level of the audience. They may be great, they may be highly knowledgeable, however when it comes to your seminar, they are all sitting there to listen to you. What does it mean? “They are respecting you. They have got good opinion about your ideas. They respect your thoughts and ideology. They are there to appreciate you” Let these kind of positive thoughts be generated towards the audience.

Time and again, before you start the seminar, just keep imagining that they are all as good as nursery students, and they want to get entertained by you.

But this third technique should be understood in the right perspective and should be implemented with a positive motto. This really gives you lot of drive. I promise, most of the world renowned trainers revealed this fact, that they do follow this technique.

How to get the first impression from the audience?
Pay attention
Dress well
  • A dress always gives instant first impression. Never be under the impression that you wear dress to show off your status, but it is a mark of respect that you are giving to the audience. Thus do not hesitate to wear a neck tie, blazer, or a suit, neatly polished shoes. Audience would definitely love it; they want to listen to the speech of a decent person. They respect the person who is one up, always.
    Stand confidently
  • It shows that you are relaxed. Your body speaks silently to your mind. If the body is confident, the mind gets confident.
    Use Positive Gestures
  • Audience will never appreciate rude gesticulations.
    Use polite Language
  • Your ideas should be powerful, thoughts should be clear, the body language and the verbal language should always be polite and full of respect.
  • Shiv Khera the world renowned speaker says; “Winners use hard arguments but soft words, losers use soft arguments but hard words”. Naturally, the audience would get inspired by a winner.
    Give Suitable examples
  • Do not hesitate to tell the audience suitable stories, anecdotes, jokes. However, they should support your ideas, they should bear the thread with the main concept of your presentation.
    Use Clear and audible Voice
  • Do not get carried away. Most of the speakers feel that speaking loudly means speaking confidently. It is absolutely a misconception.
  • Use clear voice.
  • Let the voice be audible, to all the audience. If the number of audience is less, you can tone down your voice; if the audience is more in number you can raise your voice. The guiding principle is that, let the audience sitting in the last row get your voice clearly, which is enough. The people in the next lane are not your target audience.
    Give Importance to the audience
    Do not hurt any individual during your presentation.
    You should understand the sensibilities of your audience
Audience would like to hear these statements
  • “I will not waste your time”
  • “I know your needs”
  • “I am well organized”
  • “I am thorough with the subject”
  • “A very important information for your need” etc
The Speech should have
  1. The Head
  2. The Body
  3. The Tail
The Ratio (Time Allocation), If you have 10 Min., Divide it as mentioned below.
  1. The Head ( 2 Min)
  2. The Body ( 6 Min)
  3. The Tail ( 2 Min)
Each of these parts can cover these aspects
  1. The Head (2 Min)
    • Opening
    • Introduction
    • Understanding the audience
    • State the purpose.
  2. The Body (6 Min)
    • All the main points
    • Related information
    • Important dates and other information relating to the topic
    • Interesting examples
    • Any scientific data etc
  3. The Tail (2 Min)
    • Summary
    • A quick recap
    • Brief Interaction with audience
    • Thanking note
In the coming articles let us discuss the following aspects.
  • 10 powerful tips for very successful presentation
  • 10 delivery guidelines
  • How to handle the questions from the audience?
Till then keep memorizing the aspects which we have discussed in this article.

All the best.
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