No matter how good we are at our jobs, when it comes to presenting our ideas or our work, we sometimes falter. I personally often think it would be easier if I had the option to write out my ideas in a mail, rather than explain them to my colleagues in person because that flusters me. So when our clients express the same fears, trust us, we do too! In order to help you on your way, this week at LearnEd’s blog is about how to squash your fears when it comes to spoken presentations. In this first part, here are our top tips on how to prepare for the perfect presentation:
- Clarity and Research:
No one likes to speak for longer than they have to, and no one likes to listen to people ramble. When you have been given a clear agenda, plan accordingly. Write out what the requirement that has been given to you is, and what it is that you intend to say. Even if you need to make a Powerpoint presentation to go with what you have to say, write these out beforehand. It will help you understand what your point is, and how to structure the flow of the entire presentation. A little clarity and some research will take you a long way in making efficient use of your time, and in giving you confidence. Work thoroughly on what your idea is, and on ensuring that you get that across as directly as possible.
- Listen to Other Speakers:
This may sound silly, but pay attention during other presentations- not just on what people are saying, but also on how they are saying it. Listening attentively will gradually help you figure out why certain speakers are making more of an impact than others. It will help you pick up small tips on what to do and what not to do when you’re in the speaker’s position and will help you prepare for the listeners’ reactions accordingly.
- Prepare for Questions:
A good presentation often puts people in a Catch-22 situation (don’t know what that reference means? Go on, look it up). If you’re good at what you’re saying, you will invite engagement from the listeners, including questions, and that can sometimes make you feel as if the information you gave earlier is incomplete. Not to mention, it would need for you to speak in an impromptu manner. To avoid this worry, when you are writing our your presentation, prepare for questions that you anticipate. This will have you take a more rounded approach towards your topic and will help you prepare for new situations, thus making you less frazzled when fielding questions from colleagues or seniors.
- Practice! Practice! Practice!:
This one is the most obvious, and yet the most overlooked. Sometimes we feel overconfident, and sometimes we feel so underconfident that we think practising will just make it worse. However, nothing will make you feel right about a good presentation at work the way practice will. Find a supportive colleague or two whom you can trust to help you out, and if not, practice by yourself. A good rehearsal, even if it is just the one, will help you calm your nerves, and it will help you remember the flow of things. Hard work and smart work both fail if one doesn’t know where to take a breath and preparing yourself beforehand will allow you to sort yourself out immediately!
That’s all from Team LearnEd on how to prepare for a presentation. Keep your eyes peeled for the second part of this post, where we share tips on how to sail smoothly during the actual presentation!