Learning to present with confidence is an age old concern for anyone who must make effective business presentations. Whether it’s for a product launch or in an executive meeting around a table, getting your message across spells conversion or action from your audience.
Some people seem more relaxed than others when speaking. You may think they were born with the gift of gab. That is far from the truth. Anyone can learn how to present with confidence - by learning and practicing some key presentation skills.
By following these tips for an effective presentation… you, too, will soon learn to present with confidence:
Know your audience. Knowing your audience helps set the objective for your presentation… the “why” of your presentation. Prepare content that will bring you closer to your objective… the “what” portion of your presentation.
Know your message. Delivering content that your audience wants means understanding what to present in a sequence that will keep your audience interested. Follow a well-structured format and keep your audience engaged.
Keep to a few key points. List the points you want to cover and group them into five or seven key points. This will organize your thoughts and be flexible with your timing.
Use a simple outline. Usually, presentations may be divided into three parts: the introduction, the body, and the conclusion.
Know your style. “How” you present your message to your audience spells success and failure. Even with the best content, your presentation style may detract rather than attract others.
Manage your stress. Nervousness causes unconstructive habits to come out. As you begin your presentation, these jittery moments subside especially when your audience warms up to your message. Remember, they want you to succeed as much as you do!
Use enhancers. PowerPoint slides and illustrations help keep presentations interesting and engaging. Avoid overdoing pictures and details… use them only to support your content.
Highlight the need and define your solution. In the body of your presentation, convince your audience that they are involved in the issue. Persuade them to ditch the status quo by explaining your proposed course of action.
Finish with a clear take home message. Let them envision a picture of what is to be expected, whether success or failure… depending on their response to your call. Summarize the key points of your presentation.
Keep practicing. Your goal is not to memorize your talk, but to grow familiar with your content. You’ll be able to present it fluently and with authority.
Make a conscious effort toward continuously improving your skills. Implement the tips discussed here. You will soon present with confidence. You’ll gain more courage for demonstrating your ideas…much to the benefit of yourself and your organization!