How To Give A Presentation At Work And Leave Them Wanting More – Part 2
In my last article, I gave you advice on how to begin preparing for your big presentation. In this article, I’ll give you tips and pointers on what to do while you present.
At this point, you should already have created a bullet point list of every important detail you need to cover in your presentation. If visuals are necessary, you’ll also have prepared your slides to back up what you’re discussing. Whether or not you have visuals, you still need to prepare what you’re going to say in front of your audience. You already have the bare bones; now you need to fill in the gaps. That means, practice, practice, practice.
There are two approaches you can take. You can either write down your entire presentation and memorize it. Or you can go from the gut to keep your words fresh, just practicing your presentation out loud until you get into a good rhythm. Whichever method you choose, ensure you don’t sound stilted or overly rehearsed.
Practice makes perfect
Practicing in front of a mirror is good. Practicing in front of a real person is better. Ask a coworker or a friend if you can do a dry run in front of them. Ask them to point out every moment in your presentation when their interest starts to lag, or they lose the thread of what you’re saying. You may need to adjust your wording to compensate for the feedback. Prepare until the presentation comes out smoothly because if you’re prepared enough, it doesn’t matter how nervous you get. You’ll know your stuff and you’ll deliver that presentation like a pro. So, take a few deep breaths and get ready to wow your audience.
Watch your tone
Modulate your voice so you’re not speaking in a monotone. Emphasize different words to keep your audience’s attention on you. Change up the flow of sentences. And, if possible, keep the presentation brief. If you drone on for too long, your audience’s attention will drift.
Body language is key
On stage, be sure to hold yourself high and smile at your audience. Look people in the eye as you speak instead of down at the floor or at a single spot in the room (this is where practicing in front of a real person comes in handy.) Not only does this make you seem more natural, but if you look at your audience, you’ll be able to see how receptive they are. Is the audience nodding along and smiling? Guess what? You’ve got them just where you want them. But if they look bored or their body language is disinterested, you may need to adjust your speech on the fly.
For additional advice or personalized feedback, go here to learn more about my services. I’ve done plenty of one-on-one coaching throughout my career and I can help you present like the pros, offering my direct feedback to your speech.