Presentations can spark two completely different reactions from people: unabashed excitement, or pure terror. For many of us, it’s the latter. The memories of having to give a presentation in a group in front of your class at school and no one knowing which part they are supposed to say… presentations were a nightmare.
Luckily, in the working world, the stress isn’t quite as rife. Presentations are usually used in business meetings to demonstrate a point, or in front of a company for a sales pitch. Whatever you use them for, there is no denying that nailing your presentation technique is essential. That’s why we have a few great tips for you today…
Imagine Everyone Naked
Only kidding, however being able to see your audience as normal people can help immensely with your nerves. Everyone who is watching you give your presentation is a human being, and they have probably faced the same nerves as you have at one point or another. They are not there to intimidate you; they are there to listen to what you have to say. Once you realize this, talking in front of people suddenly doesn’t seem so scary.
Get to the Point
Make sure that you organize your presentation into concise points, and don’t hang on one point for too long. This is the point where you can start to forget where you are up to and your audience will lose interest. It might be useful to invest in a yellow laser pointer so that you can highlight important points in your slides and keep the room’s focus on you and what you have to say.
The worst mistaken many of us make when we are nervous is to talk way too quickly, in an effort to get all of the points out before we mess up. Just remember that you are here to teach, to show your colleagues something important. Take a few deep breathes, open up the slide you need and take a second to review the information before you begin to speak. It will help bring your mind into focus and get your head in the game.
Pictures Speak a Thousand Words
If you are approaching a particularly difficult subject, or maybe you just don’t know how to explain a concept, use images. A poignant image can speak louder than any explanation you can make. It will help you and your audience to identify with the subject at hand and gain a better understanding of difficult issues. It may also be useful to create infographics using apps such as Canva to help get your point across.
Maintain Eye Contact
When you make a presentation in front of people, you are effectively having a conversation with a room full of people at once. It is therefore important to make eye contact with your audience to keep them engaged with what you are saying and also to facilitate your nervous feelings. Seeing human faces can help you calm your mind and focus on the task ahead.