It’s Presentation Time! (Yay!)

Does the idea of doing a presentation make you want to run and hide? Perhaps your grades depend on a dazzling oral demonstration of your knowledge, or the direction of your job hangs in the balance. My advice?

Be prepared, and don’t sweat the small stuff.

How would you like 7 Tips On How To Pull Off A Presentation? Here’s where you begin:

7 Tips On How To Pull Off A Presentation:

  1. Practice in front of the mirror. The more comfortable you are with the material, the more comfortable you will be in front of an audience.
  2. Have easy-to-view visuals. PowerPoint slides should have no more than five words on them. Any more than that, and you lose the attention of your audience while they read the slide. All words should be in big dark letters. Make posters so they are easy to see from the back of the room. If they can’t see them, your visuals will irritate your audience.
  3. Use images. (https://pixabay.com has free images.) Pictures create mood and influence emotions. They should illustrate the content spewing from your mouth. Pictures will also remind you of what you want to say next.
  4. Face the audience, and introduce yourself at the beginning. That guarantees you will be starting your presentation with something you know. Follow that up with a question, an interesting hook that your presentation will answer, which will grab your audience from the beginning.
  5. Remember, you are the only one who knows what your presentation is supposed to sound like. If you mess up, just blink. Then keep going. Your audience will not know the difference unless you tell them you did something wrong.
  6. You are the only one who knows how nervous you are. Your audience doesn’t know unless you tell them. So, picture someone you admire who is cool, calm and collected, and then imitate them. Copy their confidence. Project your voice the way they would. Stand in a relaxed stance. Do this, and you will portray confidence, even if you don’t feel it.
  7. Say “thank you” at the end to indicate you are finished. Clearly defining the beginning and end makes your audience more comfortable, and therefore more receptive.

Everything is a learning experience, including doing a presentation. If you can find a way to videotape yourself while you are presenting, you will find it invaluable when you look over it later. You will be able to see your strengths and your weaknesses, which side of the room you tend to look at, and how confident your overall performance appears.

And for you students out there, if everyone in your class has to do an oral presentation, you should know that the only people listening to you are the teacher, and anyone who has already presented. The rest of the class is sitting there feeling anxious about their upcoming presentation. Chances are they won’t be hearing what you have to say, at all.

Lastly, as you make your way from the podium back to your seat, mutter under your breath, just loud enough for the people near you to hear, “Nailed It!” Never let them see you sweat.

For all you experienced presenters, what’s a little trick you use to get you through a presentation? Inquiring minds want to know.