If you're a professional businessman or businesswoman working in the business industry, then chances are at some point during the course of your career, you're going to have to present a presentation of some sorts to a prospective or existing client. Regardless of how confident a personality you may have, this is a nerve wracking experience for all of us, regardless of how much knowledge and experience we possess going into the presentation. While there are always a certain number of unpredictable factors out of our control, one thing that we do have a greater degree of control over is the way that we prepare for our presentation. In this article we're going to look at several techniques that anyone can employ to help better prepare themselves for that all important presentation.
Failing To Prepare Is Preparing To Fail
An old eye rolling cliche but that doesn't dilute its truth any less. Without doubt, the biggest reason why people fall short of knocking their presentation out of the park is a lack of preparation. It is of critical importance that you know your presentation like the back of your hand. One of the best ways to look like an inexperienced presenter and deliver a presentation that is a dreadful chore for the viewer to be forced to sit through, is to be reading off your presentation slide. Your slides should be used as guidelines for the viewer to follow if THEY lose track, not a visual aid to keep you on track. Ideally, the presenter should barely spend any time at all focusing on the slides, instead their attention should be on the viewer. Doing this will ensure that you keep you make them feel valued and more important than that, make them feel as though you are confident and knowledgeable about your subject matter that you are discussing. Put the time in going over what your presentation is about and ensuring that you can recall without fail all of the important talking points of your presentation.
Calm Your Nerves
Nerves affect even the best of us, there's no way of getting rid of them, the best that we can do is to control them. Controlling our nerves is key to delivering a masterful presentation. Not only will it help you in giving the best presentation that you are capable of but it will also allow you to come across as confident and knowledgeable, two traits that are very admirable to the people who are presenting to. When it comes to dealing with our nerves, unfortunately there is no such thing as a a one size fits all solution. The key is learning and understanding what works for you as an individual. Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated, get a good night's sleep, these are all good tried and true methods of minimising factors which work to build up your nerves. If you are superstitious then make sure that you go through your routine if you know that it well help to calm any nerves that you are likely to have.
Don't Leave Anything To Chance
It is always better to be over prepared then it is to be somewhat prepared and have something come undone and blow your entire plan to bits. Always make sure that you go the extra mile to have a contingency plan in place just in case the worst does come to the worst. For instance, if you are relying on a CD or DVD to aid the delivery of your presentation, ensure that you also have a backup copy, just in case your original copy decides to let you down when you need it most and doesn't work. You can also take that one step further and make sure that you are efficiently protecting any brittle but important items such as a CD by investing in a high quality leather CD wallet. As a result, leather CD wallets will provide that extra bit of security to help protect your important disc, as well as ensuring that you know exactly where it is. If you also invest in a stylish looking leather CD wallet then you have also created an opportunity to impress your viewer when you pull your elegant wallet out of your bag. Alternatively, if you have your presentation ready to deliver on your laptop, it is of vital importance that you're not just solely dependent on the one single copy of the file to allow you to deliver your presentation. Make a copy of it, store it on a USB, even email it to yourself so that if the worst comes to the worst and your laptop fails on you, you can always bring a copy of your presentation up on someone else's laptop and you're still in a position to knock your presentation out of the park, along with impressing everyone else in the room with your impressive preparation skills.