Few things in the business world are scarier than delivering a presentation, yet few are as important. Do it right and you can boost your career and win new business; do it wrong and you risk losing credibility and clients.
These eight handy tips can help you win over any audience:
- LEAVE YOUR PERSONAL LIFE AT DOOR
You set the tone and mood of the room as a presenter and though it may not be visible, any distractions will be apparent to the audience. Develop a strategy to be in the right frame of mind. Listen to music, prepare a special playlist, or take time out to make sure your head is clear. Your audience deserve the best version of you, no matter what's going on in your world.
- REHEARSE, REHEARSE, REHEARSE
To develop your presenting skills and increase confidence you must prepare, practice and learn from each presentation. Rehearse what you are going to say out loud a minimum of three times. This will ensure you've found your flow and help eliminate any "ums", "ahs" or other filler words.
- BE PASSIONATE
If you're not interested in your subject then no-one else stands a chance. You must bring some enthusiasm to your talk. Stand up and give the best of yourself. Try and feel the adrenalin from your nerves as a positive and use it to give yourself some energy.
- SPEAK ENGLISH
You need to speak in English and not in business speak for your message to be understood. This isn't about dumbing down, it's about talking in a universally understood language rather than your industry dialect. To be clear, concise and understandable you must stop: Using concepts, acronyms and jargon without explanation; Assuming levels of understanding that are simply not there; Bombarding the audience with too many numbers without context; Using 10 sentences to say what could be said in two.
- GRAB THEIR ATTENTION
Every audience wonders what's in it for them, so start a presentation with a reason to listen. You only have 45 seconds to get your audience's attention so make it count. You don’t need to tell jokes or do anything out of the ordinary, simply explain why your presentation is worth listening to.
- DON'T LET THINGS SLIDE
Prepare the presentation slides for the audience and not for you. A good speaker will always use their own notes to prompt them and keep them on track; a bad speaker will use the slides as their notes. The slides aren't supposed to be your notes or your crutch, they are for the audience.
- BE PREPARED
Know the presentation room and equipment. Check, double check and triple check everything — and always have a back up plan in case the equipment breaks down.
- YOU DON'T NEED TO KNOW EVERYTHING
It's okay to not know the answer to every question. Admit you don’t know, explain why you don’t know and say you will get back to them. The trick is to manage the stress you feel when this happens.
source emma ledden 12.08.16