In a previous article, we provided 5 tips that will help you in preparing the presentation you have been asked to give. Those tips as well as the ones we will be detailing here, will help insure that you will deliver the goods. Delivering the presentation is all about preparation! Now that you have your speech ready, it is game day. Below is some advice as well as some tips to reduce the anxiety, become more comfortable and nail your presentation.
Know the Room
Even you are in familiar territory, like a conference room in your own office, you should visit the space in which your presentation will be delivered. It is even more important if this is unfamiliar territory such as a hotel ballroom or other large venue. One reason to check out the space, is to gain an understanding of the acoustics in the room. This is important in order to understand the level of projection you will need to use. You will want the people in the back of the room to be able to hear you clearly, without the people in the front feeling as though you are screaming. In a large auditorium and even in some smaller venues, you will be using audio equipment to gain this advantage.
Test Your Equipment
If you have arranged for audio or visual equipment to enhance your presentation, make sure you test it. In many cases the venue will not only provide the equipment, they will also have their personnel onsite and available in case there are any technical issues. Test it anyway! If there is no technical support available, make sure you understand the operations of the equipment. For the audio equipment, knowing how to turn it on, and adjust the volume are the basics. If you will be using a microphone, or lavaliere microphone you will need to understand the operations of these as well. It is not only important to turn it on or off, you should test the sound quality to insure the people in the back of the room can hear you clearly using the same voice, and cadence in which you will deliver your speech.
Video technology can be even trickier, not only will you have to understand the operations of the equipment, you will need to insure the image size is appropriate for the screen you will be showing it on. Insuring your images are in focus is also important. Lastly, getting your images loaded onto the equipment or pairing your computer to the projector require the proper cabling.
Overcoming Presentation Jitters
The moment of truth is upon you, how are you feeling? Most people, even experienced presenters get nervous before a presentation. It is natural, the first step to overcoming these emotions is to understand they happen to everyone. Give yourself permission to be nervous. Then recognize that you are ready. If you have gone through all of the preparation steps in the development of the presentation, you are ready. Remember the final step we suggested, which was putting your outline on 3×5 cards and then putting those cards in your back pocket? This is simply a symbolic gesture that tells me “I have this, it is in my back pocket!” I have written out the speech, practiced it as much as I need to, I am ready.
So why am I still nervous? More importantly how can I get over that anxiety? There are several techniques you could use, and pick what is best for you. One is meditation, many people find that calming their nerves through meditation prior to giving a presentation works best. Others choose to so something physical. Fist pumps, or jumping jacks or anything that gets your body moving can be very effective. The key is to do something rather than wallow in the sinking feeling that is creating the anxiety.
Now Go Out and Kill It!
Your career is about to be enhanced. You will be showing not only your expertise in the subject matter, but your competency in making a presentation. Embrace the opportunity, enjoy the experience and watch what happens afterwards. Somebody who trusted you, provided you with this opportunity, they know you can handle it. Take a deep breath and do what you have been trained to do. Good luck and please let me know how it went.