It’s time for your next work presentation and you may be feeling a little nervous. Whether it’s your first time or your hundredth, it can still be helpful to take it back to the basics. You’ve been selected to give the presentation for a reason. Simply said, you are capable of presenting the material and doing a good job. Your task right now is to prepare your presentation and practice!
Gather Your Material
Hopefully, you have background and expertise on the presentation. If you don’t, it’s time to connect with the person who will be able to help you determine what material to include in the presentation. After you’ve gathered the material, you need to determine the best way to present the information. Many typically opt for a PowerPoint presentation, so we’ll discuss some tips here. If you’re company has a branded slide deck, request to use that one as it helps with professionalism and saves you time from sorting through all the different templates. When you’re adding information onto the slides, remember that simple is usually better than complicated. You may have a lot of information floating in your head but try not to use the slides as a crutch. In other words, do not include every word that you speak in your presentation on the slide. Instead, try to use the slides as useful visual cues for yourself and the audience. Graphics can be helpful and be sure to use readable font size and colors. And, be very conservative with the transition effects. While it can be tempting to add flair to your presentation, transition effects are often distracting. Remember – keep it simple!
Practice Your Presentation
Above all, practice is the best way to ensure a successful presentation. Practicing is also a great way to make sure you fit the time requirement and feel more comfortable with your slide deck. “Winging it” is not the best philosophy when it comes to presenting. When you’re practicing, it can be helpful to practice in front of different people so they can give you helpful feedback. It can also be beneficial to record yourself to hear if you’re coming across clearly and in an engaging manner. Practicing in different accents is also a fun way to make sure you have your presentation down pat.
When the big day arrives, you can breathe and now that you’ve adequately prepared. The last step is to deliver the presentation and then you’re finished! Right before the presentation, there are a few different techniques to get yourself “in the zone.” If you enjoy listening to music, it can be helpful to listen to some music beforehand that gives you confidence. If you’ve presented before, it’s beneficial to think about the “greatest hits” of yourself presenting well so you can remember your full capabilities. Finally, deep breaths and a smile are a simple way to calm you down and set up you for success!