Do you dread giving presentations? Perhaps the thought brings you out in a cold sweat or gives you sleepless nights.
There is so much to remember after all...
Who is my audience? What is my content? How many slides should I prepare? What ice breaker should I use? How can I overcome my nerves? What should I wear? How big is the venue? What facilities are there?
...the answer to all these questions can be found in your preparation.
Preparation, preparation, preparation!
The best way to overcome pre-presentation nerves is to prepare.
The more preparation you do, the more confident you will be. The better prepared you are, the more your audience will respect you and take on board your ideas.
Here are five initial tips to help:
1. Know your audience
Understand what your audience wants from you and give them what they need. If necessary, carry out some research. The better you know and understand them, the greater rapport you can build.
2. Make life simple and keep to the point
You will have a key idea or point you want to get across. Make this point early in your presentation and use the remainder of your time to enhance it with additional content. Don’t drift off topic otherwise you are at risk of your audience forgetting the important points.
Imagine you have been allocated 20 minutes for your presentation and on the day this was cut to 5 minutes. (This does happen!) You should still be able to make your point within this time.
3. Prepare for challenges
Parts of your presentation may be challenged by your audience. Anticipate which parts these may be and prepare for it. For example, you can pre-empt questions by stating the challenge, ‘I know that many of you will now be wondering how this will be possible’, and providing a possible answer for your audience.
4. Familiarise yourself with the venue
What facilities are there? Will you get any assistance?
Practise makes perfect!
With adequate preparation, giving a presentation can be an enjoyable and rewarding experience.