You can deliver confident and powerful presentations!
All it takes is a little preparation, some practice, and a winning mindset.
You’ve been asked to give a presentation.
Congratulations! This is your chance to shine.
If you’re like most people, you probably don’t like presenting very much.
So, read on for some simple tips you can use to conquer your worries.
With these simple tips, you’ll be ready to go in no time, feeling confident, and fully prepared.
First, there are a few things I wanted to point out:
- Know that you were asked to present, because you can do it—you wouldn’t have been asked otherwise.
- No one really likes presenting. Some of the best, most well known speakers and actors have confessed to this. So, when you look out at your audience, know that you’re always in good company.
- What actually comes out of your mouth is only about 10% of what gets communicated. That leaves 90% to non-verbals. That means if your body language, expression and gestures communicate confidence, you will come across as confident.
But just how do you create this confidence?
Here’s the secret: being prepared; practicing; and having identified beforehand, instant solutions for de-stressing.
A favourite motto of mine is “If you think you can, you can.”
So here is how you’re going to get prepared, confidently go in there, and knock their socks off!
Confidence builder #1: Know your content
Identify your key messages—bullet them in order so they tell a clear story.
Jot down cues for your key messages (e.g. on flashcards, paper, etc.).
Have them ready as back up (but remember to refrain from reading them word-for-word while presenting).
Enhance your messages with supporting tools, and interesting visuals—it will be a perk for your audience, and it takes the spotlight off of you.
Be sure to tap into your resources—know a graphic design expert? Ask for their advice.
Confidence builder #2: Practice makes it a “piece of cake”
Practice delivery of your lines. Do this in the mirror.
You might feel funny talking to yourself, but it works.
Watch your body language.
Find your “confident look.”
Standing straight be sure to use smooth hand gestures, and limit unnecessary movement (e.g. rocking back and forth from one foot to the other).
Practice until the words flow like water.
When you’re ready, practice in front of a friend or two.
Ask them each for 3 things you did well and 1 thing you could improve.
Confidence builder #3: Create your “winning scene”
Visualize yourself delivering your presentation.
Then see your audience’s reaction.
What does that “winning scene” look like for you?
Visualize it over and over until you can see it so clearly, you know what colour socks your boss is wearing!
Confidence builder #4: Go for it!
Identify ways to calm your nerves before you even begin: take deep breaths, or find whatever works for you (e.g. picture everyone in funny pajamas).
Squelch any negative thoughts or concerns by envision your “winning scene.”
Think positive. Remember: “If you think you can, you can.”
As you present, keep eye contact with as many people as you can—this also conveys confidence.
If it helps, determine a shape in your mind and make eye contact around the room as though you were creating that shape with your line of vision.
Be sure to keep your pace s…l…o…w.
Many of us tend to speedtalk when presenting, and so, often what might sound slow to us sounds just right to the listener.
And, because you are so well prepared you will make your points confidently, answer questions clearly, and start to look forward to your winning scene!