Becoming a competent, rather than just confident, speaker requires loads of practice. Here are a few tips to start sharpening your presentation skills: 1. Death By Powerpoint In order to avoid this disease, should have no more than 10 slides, last no longer than 20 minutes and have no text less than 30 point font. 2. Be Entertaining Your speech should appeal to your audience’s emotions. Remember that no-one will pay any attention to you unless you give them the WIIFM – the most listened to radio station in the world – the What’s In It For Me. Be very clear about this and use it to your advantage. 3. Slow Down Nervous and inexperienced speakers tend to speak way too quickly. Slow yourself down to a pace that seems unnaturally slow and use the power of the pause to add dramatic emphasis. 4. Eye Contact Make eye contact with every person in the room. Address each person with a complete thought before pausing and moving on to the next audience member. 5. Become A Story Teller Your speech should always be visual so paint mind pictures for your audience. Explain your points with short stories, quips and anecdotes. Great speakers know how to use a story to create an emotional connection between ideas for the audience. 6. Project Your Voice Even if you’re delivering your speech with a microphone make sure you throw out your voice at least 3 feet or 1 metre in front of you. You want everyone to hear your passion and power and this just won’t happen if you don’t push your voice out. You can practices this at home to a dot on a wall throwing your voice out like a ball to hit the target. 7. Be Animated And Use Gestures Allow yourself to speak with your hands to add passion to your performance. One of the worst things you can do in delivering a speech is to grip the lectern or keep your hands plastered by your side or behind your back. Relax and allow your whole body to impart the story and connect with your audience.