Got a business presentation coming up? Worried that you might make a fool out of yourself?
If not, then you have my respect. Presentations aren’t my favourite way to spend an hour at work. But, there are some surefire ways that you can make it easier for yourself.
Today, I’m going to take a look at some simple methods to improve your business presentation skills. They’ll help you impress your boss, your interviewer, or the investor you are trying to pitch to. But most of all, you’ll impress yourself. Which is, I guess part of the problem, and the ideal place to start.
Like yourself more
OK, so it’s easy to overdo this one a little and come out too overconfident – that’s not going to work, and nobody likes a show-off. Besides, if you think you know it all, you will get lazy, and end up making a mess of things.
So, like yourself more, and feel confident in your ability to present. Seeing your own value can be tough to do, but if you are in the position of presenting, someone trusts you to do the job.
Do your research
The one way to make a presentation work well is by knowing exactly what you are talking about. You have to learn your subject inside out. Learning a script just isn’t going to cut it – what if someone cuts you off mid-sentence and throws you off track?
You have to be able to get the room back straight away, and sometimes there is only one way to do that. It’s by having the ability to float between the topics you are discussing at will. So do your research, and learn everything you need to.
OK, so we’ve already mentioned getting thrown off track when you are reading a script. There’s a simple answer to this: don’t read from a script. Practice what you are going to say time and time again, to your friends, partner, family – even your dog.
It doesn’t even matter if they aren’t listening, to be honest. It’s all about getting the rhythm right, and feeling confident you know what to say next. Crack that, and you will have the basis of a half decent presentation right there.
If you’re still feeling nervous, think about using tools to take the focus away from you. Get some great slides made up by a designer that emphasises what you have to say. Set up your laptop, get a BENQ TH681+ HD Projector and a white wall, and that’s all you need.
As long as your slides are interesting and engaging, you will take the focus off you, and will feel a little easier about the whole situation.
OK, so you don’t have to do a stand-up set. But it will help to get a few laughs – if anything, it will put the audience at ease. One of the main problems with dull presentations is that the audience feels awful, too. So anything to relieve your – and their – tension will be to everybody’s advantage.
Hope this has helped you out – let me know how you get on!
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