My clients often approach me for advice around delivering a presentation. Often a lack of confidence or nervousness in their ability to speak in public is what is limiting their success. I want to let you into a secret…only a few years ago I used to hate presenting too!! You might be wondering how can someone who delivers training for a living possibly have hated presenting, but I did. It’s for this very reason I want to share with you all nine top tips which will help you turn your anxiety around presenting into confidence!
1. Preparation is key
The age old saying, ‘failing to prepare is preparing to fail’ is absolutely true when it comes to presenting. Do your research on your given topic, but also most importantly on your audience. If it’s a presentation for an interview check out your interviewers profiles on LinkedIn and google your delegates. All research will help you bring relevance and examples to your presentation which guarantees further engagement.
2. Arrive early
Don’t add additional pressure to your presentation by arriving a couple of minutes before kick off. Ensure you arrive at least 30 minutes before you start to test projector etc and collect your thoughts before you start.
3. Tailor your presentation
NEVER and I mean NEVER use the exact same presentation twice. You may end up having a delegate who has been at a couple of your events and it does nothing for your credibility when you run a presentation or workshop with exactly the same script twice. Mix it up as it keeps you more engaged too.
4. Cue Cards
Even if you are mega confident with presenting use cue cards which match your powerpoint slides. Don’t however read from the cue cards, a few bullet points to prompt your thoughts aid the flow of your discussion rather than reading directly from the cards.
Injecting some light humour and anecdotes will help both your confidence and lighten the mood of your audience too. A word of caution though don’t go for anything too risqué it’s not a stand up gig you are doing!
6. Ask the audience
Engage your delegates in your presentation if it is appropriate. This works particularly well when you are presenting to a larger group and it is a dry subject you are presenting on. Even simple questions e.g. ‘can you give me an example of excellent customer service you have experienced lately?’ have opened up really interesting dialogues in some of my client workshops.
7. Be YOU!
This may be tip number seven but for me it is the most important of them all! Authenticity when presenting is far more engaging than someone trying to be someone they aren’t or someone who is delivering a message they don’t believe in. You will always get the best results when you are delivering in your own style. You don’t have to be the most charismatic person to deliver an amazing presentation, bring your own style and anecdotes to the presentation and you will be brilliant.
8. Enjoy it
Don’t allow the nerves prevent you from enjoying the fact you have been given the opportunity to share your viewpoints. You have the full attention of your audience so engage with them and most of all enjoy!
9. Ask for feedback
It is crucial to get feedback from your delegates after your presentation. Ask questions around your style, the content and actions people are going to take as a result. If you would like some specific support on tailoring feedback just drop me an email on: firstname.lastname@example.org and I would be delighted to help.
Use these tips to help you focus on delivering an award winning presentation!