You are nervous, not able to sleep and feel a little bit unwell? Either you are getting ill or your nerves vibrate before an important presentation. From your first presentation at school to presentations in your business life – presentations will accompany you throughout your life and you should try to become friends with them.
1. Know the content of your presentation
The more you know about the presentation you are going to give, the less stressed you will be. There are always external circumstances which you can hardly influence such as technical issues, a difficult audience or hoarseness. But what you can influence a lot is the way you prepare yourself. Do not only know the words on the slides of your presentation, try to learn and understand as much as possible of the topics you are going to talk about. If you prepare specific sentences, you might forget them because of your excitement. In case that you really know what you are talking about, you will easily find other words to share your knowledge.
2. Tell a story
More important than the wording you use, is the story you create about your presentation. Try to build the slides around a central theme and look on your presentation from a person’s eyes who knows nothing about the topic – even if you present to experts. Your presentation should feel “touchable” to your listeners. This means that your listeners should be able to follow your thoughts in every situation.
3. Be authentic
Yes, body language has to be mentioned in every article about presentation secrets. And yes, you should not stammer and you should be dressed appropriately. But most of all, try to be yourself. Do not pretend that you are somebody else. Do not act very differently than you normally do. Try to train your presentation skills, but always stay authentic. If you share your story in an authentic, personal way, your audience will probably forgive all the small mistakes you make.
4. Share your slides with the audience
How often have you heard presentations and forgotten about them the next day? It often happens to me at least. And even if I remember the content, it is impossible to remember all the interesting details of the slides. If you want to make your speech memorable, you should share your slides with the audience. This, again, makes your presentation touchable for your viewers. While old-fashioned paper handouts are heavy and often thrown away, digital handouts impress your audience. Tailored presentation sharing tools such as Dropbox, Beamium or SlideShare can be used as fancy alternatives to email attachments. We wish you all the best for your next presentation and would love to hear about your presentation secrets!
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