Once you have been asked, or volunteered, to give a presentation, fear may begin to bubble up causing your stomach to hurt. I suggest to think of presentations this way, you are just talking to new friends, a presentation is just a conversation and it’s time to think about what to say. So do not fear when you’re booked for a presentation. Just prepare yourself for success.
Remember that psychologists agree that preparation can cure up to 75% of stage fright. The beginning stage of nervousness just means that you will have to give some extra thought until you are certain of yourself. The extra thought I’m referring to is the strategy behind your presentation.
If you are now thinking, “Well I don’t know where to begin?” let me help. Once booked for a presentation, start by asking basic questions of the contact person. Even if the contact person is your supervisor who asked you to talk to your colleagues, you still need to gather this information.
- Time? Date? Location?
- What is the room layout of the location?
- How much time is allocated to talk?
- What does the group want to hear?
- What format do you suggest (discussion, visual aide, teleconference)?
You may want to gather some extra information depending on the situation. including:
- How many people will be present? How many remote?
- What fields of business should I expect to see?
- Will somebody be introducing me?
Perhaps not all of these will be relevant, but if they are then it’s good to know.
Asking these questions first sets your mind at ease that you know what you are getting into and you have a baseline to work from. It also sets the contact person at ease that you have everything under control. You may feel that you’re annoying the contact person with these questions, but speaking from experience, it is a sigh of relief when asked.
In the process of gathering up all of the information you need, you can rest assured that you will be creating a presentation full of information that the audience will be eager to hear. Simultaneously, you are crafting a presentation that you will be comfortable with delivering because you know the details.
Nothing can spook an experienced speaker more than walking into the unknown and realizing minutes before starting that he/she did not prepare for this well enough. Ask the questions immediately when you are booked for a presentation, put your mind at ease, and practice your speech.
- Sign up for my enewsletter, Simply Speaking, and get my strategies and insights on improving your presentations sent to your email.
- Download a free chapter from Erica Olson’s first book, Speak Simple – The Art of Simplifying Technical Presentations.
- Follow Speak Simple on Twitter and YouTube for more ways to improve your presentations.
How Speak Simple Can Help You
Increase your value by being an expert. Buyers pay more and come to you when you’re the expert. The best way to show expertise over a topic to present at industry conferences, workshops, and webinars. Speak Simple can train you to be a better presenter, craft messages your audience understands, and how to maximize every opportunity. Learn how Speak Simple can grow your sales pipeline and bottom line.