Being a freelance web designer doesn’t necessarily mean that you would not have to face the crowd or speak in public. You may not know this but there are quite a lot of forums for you to attend as a web designer where you can share your thoughts and openly discuss your ideas in front of a large crowd. Here are a few examples and tips that can help you out.
You can be invited at a general meeting at a professional organization or you may have to make and present a client presentation. These are some of the opportunities where you would be speaking to the public and this is why it is always a good practice to establish yourself as an expert in this domain.
a) Getting Ready
Right before your speech you need to be well prepared. Today’s audience is intelligent and smart and they would get to know if you are prepared or not when you open your mouth. Here are a few tips and tricks on how to prepare a speech:
First and foremost get to know the topic well.
It is always best to choose a topic that you are already familiar with. However don’t give up there! Do spend considerable time in getting to know what’s new and the latest in the market. You need to be a subject matter expert as you would be exhibiting and talking about the latest in web technology and its impact. If in case you are presenting a software tool then be familiar with the tool as you never know what question may be asked and the last thing you would want is to face an embarrassing situation.
Secondly, do organize your points.
It is best not to just speak anything that comes to your head. Make the presentation logical so that it has an impact on the minds of the listener. It needs to be interesting and have a logical flow. Making an outline of your points is always a good practice.
Thirdly prepare visuals!
Try to collate a few presentation slides on SlideShare or on Microsoft PowerPoint. A visual would always help the audience to relate to your thoughts and would always keep the viewers focused. You can also create handouts of the presentation to be handed over to the audience which they can take back with them and refer to afterwards.
Fourthly, keep practicing and it would help you overcome errors.
Certain questions can come into your mind that you can seek answers to. Try to gather friends and family members and make a presentation in front of them. If that is not possible then stand in front of a mirror and practice all you like. Be sure to keep track of time as you may not have all the time in the world to share your thoughts. It is also best to keep a stopwatch handy and time yourself.
Last but not the least dress appropriately!
You should look professional and presentable in front of the audience. However do not be overdressed as the focus of the audience may be on your dress and not on your presentation.
b) Breaking the ice
The day has finally arrived and it is presentation time. It is always a great idea to reach the location a bit early and check what all you require in making an effective presentation. Check if the laptop and the projector and well set and if they do not require any adjustments.
It is natural to feel a little nervous as you would have several faces gauging at you. Traditional advice states that you should look at the audience however try to picture them as if they were dumb and sitting in their underwear but that mostly doesn’t work. It would be better if you stare at the walls behind the audience and pretend if you were giving attention. In reality the crowd would not know what you are looking at.
In order to make your presentation more interesting, try to engage more with the audience. Ask them questions and see what they have in their mind. Make your speech or presentation a little humorous so that it has an impact. Your body language should also be appropriate so do ensure that you keep track of every move. While closing the presentation do ask questions and then finally end the presentation by sharing a thank you note.