Ah, the fabled work presentation. Dread-worthy, slightly daunting, and yet something we all have to do – often on a regular basis. You might have to give presentations at work as a normal part of your job, or perhaps you have been asked to do one as part of a job interview. Whatever the scenario, it usually involves standing up and talking in front of a group – something not all of us are entirely comfortable with. There is a certain knack to giving presentations and done well; they can be widely beneficial for both your career and the progress of your company. Done badly, they can potentially put your role in the team in jeopardy, as well as cause you to lose the respect of fellow colleagues. This clearly isn’t ideal, so it’s integral that you execute your presentation with enough finesse and professionalism as you can muster. So, what exactly do you need to do to make the most of your time in the spotlight? Read on to find out.
It goes without saying that preparing for a presentation is of the utmost importance. We all know the perils of leaving things until the night before to sort out – although the vast majority of us probably got that out of our systems in school or college. One thing that you cannot forget, though, is establishing a defined structure for your presentation. It’s all well and good knowing what to say, but you also need to know the order in which you say it as well. Otherwise, it is easy for your thoughts and points to become scrambled, and this is where you could risk falling apart in front of your audience.
Running a presentation solo can be intimidating, and one of the main issues people face is having to hold your audience’s attention at all times. Having some visual aids at hand can help to make the experience a bit more two-dimensional for your audience, as well as making the whole thing more interesting and memorable too. Plus, visual aids can often act as prompts, in case you do lose track of where you are. If you want to include physical handouts, why not consider printing things off on a wide format printer? Bigger sheets of paper will stand out more, and you can even use them as a backdrop too if you want to. Or, go digital with a classic PowerPoint presentation – just don’t make it too convoluted.
Practice your delivery
There’s no doubt that speaking in front of people can sometimes be nerve-wracking, so make sure you practice beforehand. Forget talking into a mirror – perform the presentation in front of your partner, or a trusted friend, and ask for real, critical feedback. Some of us talk too fast when we are under pressure, while some of us have poor body language. See what your friend picks up on and repeat the presentation until you’ve perfected the delivery. Then you can be sure that when the big day comes around, there’s no way you can falter.
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