Working as a manager and forming relationships with the members of your team is one thing. It’s easy to communicate with them because you do so on a regular basis. But what happens if you’re called to do a presentation in front of upper management, for a group of investors or – worse yet – for the entire organization?
There are several things you can do before your prentation that will allow you to prepare so that you can give your speach or talk without feeling overwhelmed. Your nerves may never go away but you can learn to control them.
Practice Out Loud
Practicing your presentation by giving it out loud is one of the best things you can do to ensure it runs smoothly. I have no idea why people think they can give huge presentations without practicing and unless you’re a seasoned speaker (speaking for a living) there is really no excuse for thinking such. The more you practice the less you’ll think about your presentation as you’re giving it, decreasing your odds of a mistake.
Find a Similar Venue
Do you know where you’ll be giving your presentation? Can you get into that venue in advance, after hours or early in the morning, to practice? If so, give it a shot. If you’re able to do so you’ll find you are more comfortable with your surroundings when the day of the actual presentation arrives.
Practice without Stopping with an Audience
This part is two-fold. If you practice with an audience of family or friends you’ll be more comfortable with a crowd watching you. The next important phase is to practice without stopping, even if you make a mistake. Stopping to correct yourself, and then starting over again, is really a very bad habit to get into. It’s better to acknowledge your mistakes and move on, making a note to correct them the next time your practice. If you stop and start over too many times you’ll a) get used to stopping and b) get really good at only one part of your presentation.
Follow these tips – essentially practicing as much as possible (oh, and use your props when you do practice) – and you’ll find your presentation goes much smoother than you anticipated. You don’t need to be a natural speaker to give a great talk – you just need to be dedicated!