As an entrepreneur, presentations are going to become a regular occurrence in your life. It will be something that has to be done for staff, colleagues, potential investors and partners. For the bold and confident it may be a walk in the park, however for those who have always been plagued with stage freight, it may be daunting. As with everything in life, the more you practice, the better you’ll get at it. Here are three tips that will help you become a natural at delivering presentations.
No matter how many times you’ve rehearsed a presentation, sometimes the fear of failure gets the best of you. Even if you’re scared and feel like you’re about to freeze and fail, put on your bravest face and don’t let the audience smell your fear! Make sure your posture is reflective of your confidence, use your hands while speaking, and speak in a friendly yet authoritative tone. Think positively, free your mind and take your time. Mistakes aren’t the end of the world.
Competency is the key to confidence. The more thoroughly you know and understand something, the more confident you’ll be about discussing it. Make sure you’ve researched and understood the subject matter inside out, so that no matter what is thrown at you, you know your stuff. If you’re unclear about anything, reach out to someone with more experience and ask questions. The last thing you want to be seen as is someone who’s incompetent.
There’s nothing more tedious than a long winded presentation full of rambling and lacking focus and enthusiasm. Master sticking to the point and leaving out unnecessary details. Using cards with bullet points is a good way to do this. You can also try timing yourself to ensure you’re not loading the audience with excessive info and recording your rehearsals so you see and hear what you sound and look like. It is also important to remember to be audible and enthusiastic while presenting. Be sure to carry the audience along as well whether through questions or through eye contact.
Even if your first few presentations don’t go as planned, don’t let that knock your confidence, stars aren’t born, they’re made. Take time to learn from each experience and be willing to work on your areas of weakness while celebrating your strengths.