As many companies are bringing stuff back to the office, the days of presentations via Zoom or Microsoft Teams will become a thing of the past. For some, this is fantastic news, but those who always felt more comfortable behind the screen rather than stood in front of an audience will likely feel apprehensive. But, regardless of whether you like it or not, presentations are a part of business, and most people will need to carry out a presentation during their career. If you’re someone who hates presentations, consider these six tips to make them more bearable and successful.
Practice and prepare
Everybody already knows that practice makes perfect, and this is true of presentations. You should never go into a presentation without knowing what you have to say, so take the opportunity to practice in front of an audience.
This audience can be your coworkers, family, or even yourself. If you want to improve your presentation skills, you could even record yourself so you can identify areas you could improve, such as your volume or posture.
Being prepared will also make you more confident, which is a crucial element of a successful presentation.
Invest in a suitable setup
Your first presentation back after remote working needs to impress, and one of the best ways to do this is to invest in a suitable and effective setup. If you’re responsible for leading company-wide presentations, you need an array of gadgets and devices to make it a success.
High-quality projectors and large screens are a must, but so too is audio equipment like microphones and a butterfly valve. These will help your voice carry through the conference room, which ensures everyone will hear your presentation. For smaller presentations, you won’t need as many devices, but the more tech, the more streamlined everything will be.
Grab your audience’s attention
If you want your presentation to be successful, you need to know how to start your presentation the right way. This involves catching and maintaining the audience’s attention as it sets the tone for the rest of your performance.
Anyone who has led presentations before knows how difficult it can be to engage their audience, especially if the subject matter is not as fun as you’d like it to be. So, consider ways you can grab attention, whether through a joke, practical demonstration, or interactive elements that will force people to pay attention.
Make the content clear but concise
From health and safety to the year’s projections, there are innumerable things that you may need to discuss during your presentation, but it’s too easy to get bogged down in the details, and this makes your presentation overwhelming and dull. There is simply too much information for people to process, and too much information means the presentation will last far too long.
So, you need to find a way to make your content clear but concise. Present the facts and feed other crucial details when appropriate. If you leave space for questions, you can fill in this information when someone asks.
Balance your voice and body language
It isn’t just what you say but also how you say it and how you position yourself during your presentation. If you want to ensure a successful presentation, it’s vital to speak with authority and stand up straight. This will help you come across as someone who knows what they are talking about, even if you feel the opposite on the inside.
However, you must find a balance between voice and body. You don’t want to distract from the content by being too confident with your movements, and speaking too loudly will put people off. This balance is crucial for maintaining your authority without overwhelming your audience.
Yes, those who hate presentations believe they can’t relax once they get up in front of people. But, relaxing will help you get through your presentation as quickly and successfully as possible.
Your presentation will suffer if you stammer, forget what you need to say, or speak too quickly. If you feel you are getting ahead of yourself, slow down and take a breath. If you need to, bring cue cards to get you back on track. These will give you the confidence you need to get through your presentation calmly.
Presentations are an inescapable aspect of the professional world, so rather than avoid them, you may as well hone your skills to make sure you are, at the very least, competent when you’re required to lead a presentation. You’ll soon find there’s nothing to be afraid of, and these tips can vastly improve your presentation skills.