Yes, believe it or not, glossophobia (the fear of public speaking) beats necrophobia (the fear of death) when it comes to fears. Sure, it’s natural to feel a little nervous before giving a big speech but we’re not sure why public speaking gets such a bad rap. We’re here to help you work through the pre-speech butterflies and present like a true professional.
Step 1: Get organized. Organize what you are going to say and make sure it flows nicely. Don’t topic-hop or include unnecessary info. Make sure you include an agenda and that all of your information contributes to the overarching message.
Step 2: Keep it concise. Nothing is worse than sitting through an hour long presentation that could have (SHOULD have) been 20 minutes long. Include all of your information without being wordy or going off on a tangent. Get to the point.
Step 3: PRACTICE. Then, practice some more. Practice makes perfect. Avoid stumbling over your words or forgetting what you wanted to say by practicing your presentation. The more familiar you are with the material, the easier it will be to share your knowledge.
Step 4: Arrive early. Become acquainted with the equipment you’ll be using to project your slides and make sure you have a backup file. Be ready to go as soon as you’re given the floor.
Step 5: Speak loudly, clearly, and at a good pace. Since you will have practiced your presentation many times before you’re expected to present (right?), you should be able to determine a good pace. Speak clearly without drawing out words or without rushing through them. Make sure you project so everyone can hear you. Using a microphone? Don’t get too close and muffle your words. Hold it a few inches from your mouth and speak clearly.
Step 6: Do not read off of the screen. Everyone can read what you’ve included on your slides – you don’t have to do it for them. Cover the main points on the screen and use your time to elaborate on the given information. Do your best to glance at your slides or note cards sporadically.
Step 7: Be confident. If you don’t feel confident, act confident. Exuding a positive attitude and an enthusiasm for the subject matter will make the presentation that much more interesting for the audience.
Step 8: Did we mention practice?
How do you prepare for an impending presentation? Share your tips below!