This summer during the CIBE’s BIP, one of our speakers was Prof. James Proszek. We had the opportunity to spend the afternoon learning and practicing how to best present and deliver information to an audience. The information and recommendations that he provided truly helped me become a better speaker and presenter. I was able to implement many of the tips he shared with us to better connect with an audience whether it be a business pitch or an everyday conversation.
In my notebook, there are about 3 pages of notes from our workshop that day. Below is a condensed version of the top 7 tips that helped me improve the most:
1. Take time to prepare, stretch, and get comfortable with the space you will be presenting in.
2. Podiums are nice, but find a way to move around and utilize the space you are in. Organize points and purposefully move to different places in the room.
3. “The batter’s box” Gestures should be not too big, but not too small.
4. Recognize when you are being overly repetitive with your gestures. Take time to make gestures dynamic through intentional practice.
5. Engage everyone in the audience with eye contact.
6. While you present, listen and adjust your speech accordingly. Is your audience yawning, nodding, or taking notes?
7. Nothing should be 0% or 100% memorized. 0% can sound unprepared and 100% can sound robotic. Memorize the intro, main points, and about 65% of your speech. Ideally, you need to remember what to say, where to go, while using your working memory to improvise.
Thank you to Prof. James Proszek, Cassie, Anthony, and all that make this program possible. I am honored that this summer I had the opportunity to be a part of the CIBE’s BIP. From networking with some of Wabash’s most distinguished alumni to in-depth business analysis through case studies and research, this year’s BIP has helped build and shape me to be a better Wabash man, business leader, and entrepreneur.