Tips and Tricks #58: Tips to overcome your presentation nightmares

Tips and Tricks #58: Tips to overcome your presentation nightmares

“All the great speakers were bad speakers at first.”
– Ralph Waldo Emerson


It is natural to feel anxious before delivering a speech. Whether you're an expert or a novice, everyone experiences presentation jitters. But if you master the three important P's—Plan, Prepare, and Practice—you'll have an easier time overcoming these jitters to deliver a successful presentation.


Here are a few tips for conquering your presentation nerves:


1. Preparation is key:


Begin by deciding on an appropriate topic for your audience. While designing the slide deck, use visual appeal to capture your audience's attention. You won't be able to cover every important point in your slides, so prepare a script to follow the flow of your presentation. While working on the script, focus on starting and ending your speech with the same energy to keep the audience engaged throughout the presentation. Also, be prepared for possible questions from the audience. While presenting, always assume your audience knows more than you—this will motivate you to be thoroughly prepared.

2. Content is king:


Good content, when presented well, will make your audience remember your presentation. To create high-quality content, you must identify your target audience, understand their needs, and shape your presentation accordingly. Make sure you're familiar with the topic you choose to present. If you're not, spend time researching your topic. Gather enough information to validate your content wherever necessary. If you're confident in the information you're presenting, the audience will be able to tell.

3. Practice makes perfect:

Practice every time like it is the first time. Your audience will remember how you begin and end your presentation. So deliver the first and last sentence of the presentation confidently. Carry small notes to ensure you don't skip any important points. Be your own critic—record yourself and watch the video back to identify any parts of the presentation needing improvement. You can also practice in front of the mirror. This will help you observe and correct your body language. Try practicing with different audiences to ensure you're comfortable speaking in front of any crowd.


Always have a Plan B:


Technical glitches are beyond our control, and might include mic dysfunction, network issues, or a laptop freeze. While it is advisable to carry a spare laptop, rehearse your presentation without the deck so you have a backup plan if something goes wrong. It's helpful to have some facts or interesting information on your topic prepared in case you need to fill time while technical issues are resolved. You can also use downtime to recap everything you have covered so far or to lead a brief activity.


5. Get a good night's sleep:

Your brain needs sleep to function properly. A well-rested person is known to have less stress and stronger concentration, and make better decisions. Being properly rested can help increase your creativity. Good sleep also improves your memory. This will help you remember everything you've practiced.


No one is born a good presenter; it takes regular preparation and effort. We hope these tips help give you the confidence to ace your next presentation! 

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