Tips on Presentations

Not that great with presentations? Does the mere thought of speaking in front of an audience give you anxiety? This is completely normal as public speaking is known to be one of people’s biggest fears. The feeling of being judged by others hanging on to every word your mouth utters can be quite nerve-racking for some. 

The first time I ever presented was my worst. I will never forget the sound of my paper rustling from my involuntarily shaking hands. It was embarrassing! Why was i so nervous? Simply put, it was mainly because i was unprepared. I did not put much time nor effort into my craft and it showed undoubtedly. It was that day I made a commitment to myself to make sure that part of history never repeats itself again. 

Here are some tips on how to prepare for a presentation: 

Do your research – Use resources to help you learn more about your subject (google is your best friend). When you spend time gathering information you become more knowledgeable and in turn a Subject Matter Expert (SME). When you become a SME you are capable of handling all questions about your topic. Furthermore you can now easily reference those resources to add a sense of authenticity to credit your statements. This is a way to instill trust within your audience. Ultimately you will become their resource on that subject.

Organize – Having a table of contents is the beginning to structure. You want your presentation to seamlessly flow. Find a way to relate each of your main objectives by using the compare and contrast method. Use transition words. Be sure to make your point then follow up with an example(s).

Relate to your audience – There are many ways to relate to your listeners. You can share a personal story, trending news or even a meme that correlates. Be creative. It’s easy to talk all day about things that interests us whether it’s video games, sports, TV shows, cars… etc. Your presentation is a product of you. Try to find a way to incorporate those relatable topics into your message. That way you are entertaining your audience as well as keeping them engaged. Using analogies will help convey those ideas. For instance, if you are talking business strategy you can use a sports step by step approach. 

Commit to your delivery – Confidence is key to your performance. You do not have to be a person with great charisma in order to sound like a seasoned speaker. In fact you can build that confidence when you do one simple thing. Rehearse! Rehearse! Rehearse! I cannot stress enough how important it is to rehearse your material. Think of yourself as an athlete. Before game time you have to practice, warmup and stretch to ensure you are performing at your highest level. This also applies to public speaking. Rehearsing allows you to hear your voice before anyone else does. You may even discover that there are some revisions to be made. You will know practice is over once it sounds scripted. 

Remember to research, organize, relate and commit. A few tips i practice which has improved my presentations tremendously. By sharing this i am hoping it does the same for you.