Given the politically charged nature of this year’s Academy Awards, the indisputable star of the show was Chris Rock who opened the ceremony with a ten minute monologue tackling the #OscarsSoWhite controversy.
In what was clearly a high-pressured moment in the Academy Awards’ eighty-eight year history, Rock overcame any nerves to address the diversity issue with humour and insight, delivering a highly polished presenting performance.
So what lessons in presenting can we learn from this year’s Academy Awards? Here are my top tips to help you deliver an Oscar winning performance ….
1. Don’t forget to breathe!
It may sound obvious but you’d be amazed how many people forget to breathe properly when they’re speaking in public. If you only take shallow breaths, your brain doesn’t receive enough oxygen and it becomes difficult to think clearly. Make sure you take deep breaths and pace yourself throughout your presentation.
2. Don’t root yourself to the spot!
It’s entirely normal to feel nervous before a presentation but remember to relax your body so you don’t look frozen to the spot. The way you stand and position yourself is a key way of communicating with your audience. Moving around too much can be equally distracting, so try to adopt a comfortable position that allows you to speak with confidence. Above all remember to smile – your audience is far more likely to warm to you if you’re smiling instead of looking pensive and anxious.
3. Don’t let your nerves take you by surprise.
Sometimes we can be too complacent about presenting and our nerves can surprise us. If nerves do strike, remember to slow down your speech. The temptation is to speak even faster to get the “ordeal” over with but chances are you’ll lose your audience’s attention. Speak slower than you would naturally do so you can regain control of the presentation.
Finally try to see nerves as a good thing. They can actually improve your performance and allow you to raise your game!