Public speaking doesn’t come naturally to everyone. So what happens when you have this great idea and you need to pitch to a group of people that can help you take your idea to the next level, or are asked by your supervisor to give a presentation. For me, the idea of making a presentation makes me break out in a sweat. So I have found small things here and there that help me prepare myself mentally for a presentation and help me deliver it flawlessly. Preparation is half the battle in overcoming nerves and boosting my confidence.
Also make sure to download my free Presentation Prep Work Sheet to help you prepare for your next presentation.
- Believe in yourself. A positive self -image is important for delivering a successful presentation. Identify your strengths and use them to your advantage. Also remember that unless you are presenting to a bunch of mean spirited humans, your audience is your ally and they actually want to hear what you have to say. The worst thing you can do to yourself is convince yourself that you have nothing important to say.
- Know your subject inside out. Whatever it is you are going to present, make sure you are well versed in everything there is to know about it so that you are prepared for questions. So, research extensively, consult, make notes and rehearse before you make your presentation. If you can, get a second opinion before you present. You should know your material so well that you do not need to constantly refer to your notes. Knowing that you without a doubt know what you are talking about is an immediate confidence booster.
- Visualize the success you want to see. Train yourself to visualize your presentation scenario positively. You have something to say and you are being given the perfect opportunity to do so. Visualize the enthusiastic, interested faces of the audience as they listen to your presentation.
- Behave naturally. Don’t use words you would not normally use, or an accent you don’t really have (yes, people actually do that) or just do anything you would normally not do. Also note that this is not a good time to experiment. Stick to what you know and what works. The more natural you are, the more the audience will warm up to you.
- Pay attention to your physical appearance. Before you give a presentation, make sure you are appropriately dressed. Keep in mind your personal style and the audience you will be speaking to. Remember that first impressions are strong and very difficult to change. Also, be careful to ensure that your physical appearance is not distracting to the audience. Aside from dressing appropriately, walk, speak and stand with confidence to make the right first impression. Don’t forget that even before you say a word, you are a walking representation of your brand and how you want to be perceived by your audience.
Don’t forget to download your free copy of the Presentation Prep Worksheet here.
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Have a great week!