Fear of presenting starts early.
Remember back in school when you spent the week dreading and procrastinating on a speech to present to the entire class? That lump in your throat, the trembling hands— and you only made things worse for yourself by preparing it the night before.
Unfortunately, that experience isn’t over yet: the limelight will be on you again one day. Even if you were one of the lucky few who enjoyed public speaking, it still takes years of experience, lots of practice and a little dedication to get to a point where your confidence prevails and you’re ready to smash a TED Talk—or a webinar or webcast, perhaps? Wink wink.
But it’s one thing to say “practice makes perfect” and another to know where to start learning how to present. So we’re going to give you a sign post: right here, with these three simple tips.
1. Know Your Audience
Before you dive in, consider your audience and how you can relate to them. Your presentation will benefit from thorough research into their background, their position, and any preconceptions they might have about you, your business or your industry as a whole.
Asking questions like “what is the audience hoping to gain?” before you present will help you effectively communicate and engage with them directly. Give the audience what they want, and they’ll return the favour.
2. Know Your Objectives
The best presenters understand what key points they want to highlight and how to tell their story in a way that is best understood by their audience. Instead of getting caught up in the design of your slide deck, open up a Word document (or a notepad) and get writing!
Quoting Albert Einstein is opportune here: “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”
3. Know What to Focus On
The last thing you want to do is bore your audience with a slide deck that drowns out your main points with complexity.
Make an effort to convey your real-world, actionable insights on the research—if you have them engaged on a level they can understand during your talk, they’ll be more likely connect again to find out further details.
If you find you are struggling with the thought of presenting, we highly recommend viewing our Business Skills Webcast on “The Art of Public Speaking and Presenting Online” by Trish Springsteen – enjoy!