1. Maintain Eye Contact!
This is a simple but effective tool when presenting to judges. When you look someone in the eyes, they are more likely to see you as a credible figure and buy into the message you are trying to deliver. Also, maintaining eye contact will naturally make you slow down when presenting giving an overall better feel to your presentation. But be careful! Don’t be creepy and stare down one person the entire time. Make a conscious effort to shift your gaze from one person to another after a while. For an added positive effect, remember to smile throughout the presentation.
2. Body Language
Our body language unconsciously reveals how we feel at the moment and bad body language disrupts a presentation. While presenting, make sure to keep your stance open and leave your arms by your side or even better use them for emphasis when you talk. This makes the audience/judges see you as more credible and the open stance portrays you as a trustworthy person making your presentation to them all the more effective.
3. Use Your Voice Effectively
You’ve probably had a teacher or speaker who drones on through the lecture/notes in a very monotone voice. You can just feel your mind drifting off while they’re talking. Well, that is exactly how the judges feel when someone speaks in a monotone voice. Spice it up a little! You don’t have to make it very noticeable but throughout the presentation try and vary the pitch and tone of your voice. This will make sure the judges are attentive and focused on you.
4. Core Message
While presenting, you’re probably going to be throwing a lot of facts and information at the judges. Realistically, they are not going to remember all of it. Your presentation should have a core message or three key points that you want the judges to remember by the end.
5. Practice, Practice, Practice!
A very generic tip indeed but one of the most important. A practiced presentation is a powerful presentation. You will have already planned out all the details in how to present and having practiced it multiple times will make you that much more confident. Hammering the presentation into your skull will greatly decrease your chances of messing up during the real deal, and you’ll feel more prepared and less nervous overall. A very old piece of advice but it remains true till this day, practice makes perfect!