Suppose you forget what you have to say? Suppose your prompter, if you have one, fails to inform you at the right moment? Suppose you fall sick on the D-Day? Suppose someone questions you and you can’t answer the question? Oh God! What a nightmare if you’ve been appointed to conduct the next office presentation. How can you get over those heebie-jeebies, those butterflies in your stomach right before a presentation? Do you require any presentation tips? Is there anyone to help you when you’re up there on the podium alone? Or is everyone in the audience simply glaring at you wondering when you’ll make your first faux pas, your first blunder?
The First of the Presentation Tips
Hey, don’t be so negative – that’s the first of the many presentation tips that are there to prop you up on stage just as you begin to crumble. ALWAYS THINK POSITIVELY.
The Second of the Presentation Tips
Never be nervous and never show your nervousness. Tall order? Not at all. If you’ve practiced your presentation in front of a mirror at home many times before the actual day of your presentation, you’ll not feel nervous at all. That’s the second of the presentation tips: rehearse your presentation several times before you actually deliver it.
The Third of the Presentation Tips
The third of the presentation tips asks you to tape record or video record your presentation. This will help you to detect flaws in your presentation so that you can correct them, well in advance.
The Fourth of the Presentation Tips
One of the most important presentation tips is that you don’t leave your presentation for the last moment. When you’re a seasoned presenter, you needn’t prepare at all for a presentation, you can deliver what you have to, impromptu, extempore. But when you’re a beginner, it’s essential that you work on your presentation several days in advance. This gives you time to practice your presentation and to identify where you’re going wrong. Once you know where you’re going wrong, you’ll be able to rectify yourself so that you make no gaffes during the actual presentation.
It’s advisable that you learn what you have to say, by heart. It doesn’t look nice in public if you’re reading from papers. Now, you must know that even if you memorize your presentation, you might not be able to rattle it off, the way you’ve planned. This is because, while you’re presenting, members of the audience may stop you to ask questions or ask you to explain certain things better. Don’t consider these pauses as interruptions. These are part and parcel of your presentation. This fourth of the presentation tips says that if you find that you’re being allowed to present smoothly and without any breaks, it’s probably because you sound like a school kid who’s reciting a long poem by heart. This is not good for your presentation. It’s not right if your spectators know that you’re doing something by rote. Your presentation will fall flat as soon as they perceive this. You’ll have to know your presentation like the back of your palm but you’ll have to pretend that you’re delivering it on the spur of the moment so that it looks and sounds natural. Tough job, but it comes with practice. As you become an expert presenter, you’ll find that you’re really delivering presentations at short notices, almost on the spur of the moment. You’ll get the flair required for presenting and the hang of presentations as you become an experienced presenter. But to get to that stage, it’s important that you keep on at it. Don’t shy away from presentations. Then you’ll never get accustomed to presenting. Remember, Demosthenes and Mark Antony also slipped at first before they came to be hailed as the smartest orators on Earth.
The Fifth of the Presentation Tips
The fifth of the presentation tips advises you to prepare for questions, well ahead before you actually face them. Every presenter has to face questions. It’s also a fact that some members of the audience intentionally ask confusing and hard questions just to embarrass the presenter. Such people are generally rivals of the presenter who don’t want the presenter to succeed in their presentation. If you’re conducting a sales presentation where several of your competitors, who are also vying, like you, to get chosen by the client, are part of your audience, presenters from rival companies may deliberately ask irrelevant or difficult questions, just to catch you, off-guard. So, it’s imperative that you arm yourself with enough ammo to fire back when the audience starts aiming salvos at you.
What the fifth of the presentation tips says is that you need to prepare yourself thoroughly with possible questions and answers so that no one can catch you unprepared. If you think that you’ve waved goodbye to your books long ago, think again. Open them after dusting them, if necessary, and slog hard. Also, ask your team members and seniors about the questions that you may be asked and ask them the right answers to the questions too. This is one of the toughest presentation tips as this tip insists that you do your homework thoroughly. Being slapdash with your academic as well as your practical preparation will get you nowhere. Another thing – don’t expect your seniors to supply you with questions while you sit back and relax. You must take the initiative of approaching them and asking them. Only then will you get the answers.
The Sixth of the Presentation Tips
The sixth of the presentation tips asks you to give handouts to all the members of the audience. The handouts must be a summary of your presentation but should be enough to remind readers of all that you said. It’s mandatory that you distribute handouts. Of course, none of the audience can force you to give them handouts but they expect handouts from you. It’s the only way they can remember and refer to your presentation, a few days after it’s over. Your name, official designation and contact numbers should be clearly printed on the handouts so that they can remember you better and get in touch with you, if necessary. However, if you’re a seasoned and well-known presenter, the audience will automatically remember you but you must still mention your name and designation on the handouts. Handouts are a must for presentations.
The Seventh of the Presentation Tips
This one of the presentation tips requests you to do a bit of acting. Now don’t get scared. You don’t have to be like Julia Roberts, Kate Winslet, Nicole Kidman, Tom Hanks, Russell Crowe or Johnny Depp. You don’t have to be an Oscar nominee to conduct a presentation. All you have to do is to ‘act natural’. You should be absolutely free while presenting. It’s absolutely fine if you say, ‘Hey, so where were we?’ It doesn’t mean that you’ve forgotten where you were and are asking your spectators to guide you back to the right path. It only means that you’re ‘acting naturally’ and showing that you’re cool and not a bit anxious about your presentation.
Initially, in your first few presentations, you might be tense and taut and get irritated if members of the audience digress, but you’ll find that as you’re becoming a veteran in presenting, you’re welcoming digressions and encouraging the lighter side of presentations. Little quips; examples that evoke stories and incidents; stories and incidents that are related to the topic you’re discussing; jokes, riddles and wisecracks; personal experiences; and parable-like tales that are part of the digression actually help to make your presentation more interesting than ever. They help you to be remembered as a great presenter and your presentation to be remembered as a truly enlightening presentation. Of course, it’s your duty to steer your presentation back to its course, if it has deviated too far from the actual topic. But when you’re steering your presentation back to its right path, don’t sound like a captain or commander, steer with ease, dignity and grace so that the audience are glad to come back.
The Eighth of the Presentation Tips
One of the most noteworthy presentation tips is that you display appropriate body language. Your body language shows who you are, how confident and capable you are and reveals your personality just as an open diary reveals all hidden secrets. So, don’t walk hunched, always have eye contact, don’t slump in your seat when there’s a break, don’t yawn, don’t bite your nails, and don’t look stunned at an unexpected question. Most importantly, think positive so that you feel positive. Think that you’ll win and you’ll really win. Don’t get peeved if members of the audience taunt you. Ignore them at first, and if they keep jeering you, tell them to get out. Never hesitate to demonstrate your powers as a presenter, if the situation demands it. Remember, if you’re a fresher in the business of presenting, and you’ve prepared well, nothing should daunt you. And if you’re an old warhorse where presentations are concerned, you’ll know the type of audience whom you’ll have to face, so it shouldn’t be a problem.
The Ninth of the Presentation Tips
Eat a balanced diet. Stop gorging on junk food a week before your presentation. Don’t go out in the cold or in the rains unless you have experience of conducting presentations with panache despite a running nose and a searing headache. However, don’t be too cocksure. If you carried off your last presentation with eclat in spite of partying the whole night before and feeling groggy, you might not be able to pull it off a second time. So, the ninth of the presentation tips asks you to take care of your health before a presentation. Don’t worry. There’s always time to celebrate after a successful presentation.
The Last of the Presentation Tips
And finally, since we’re giving you presentation tips, we’ll have to mention that you try out Meeting Diary. Meeting Diary is an excellent online diary that helps you to plan and arrange for meetings and presentations. You can upload all your documents into this wonderful application so that you don’t have to carry anything to your presentation. Meeting Diary is a platform independent application and can be accessed from any PC, laptop or machine that’s connected to the Internet. So, all you have to do in your presentation is open Meeting Diary on your laptop and find all your documents. Meeting Diary is the best place where you can store your meeting and presentation agenda, meeting minutes and presentation summaries. Instead of carrying loads of files and papers which you might misplace, you can easily read off the agenda from Meeting Diary. As you can upload all the names and particulars of your contacts into Meeting Diary as well as import email contacts from various email applications into Meeting Diary, effortlessly, you can easily send invitations to your presentation attendees through Meeting Diary and know in advance who’ll be coming and who won’t. You can also network professionally via Meeting Diary. Meeting Diary is a brilliant webapp that helps you to conduct presentations seamlessly. It facilitates the processes of presentation, conference and business management. If you use Meeting Diary for your presentation and business operations, you’ll really have nothing to be nervous about. Meeting Diary is a software that’ll help you to make your presentation a thumping success and a smash hit. Meeting Diary doesn’t charge anything for all the services that it offers. Which means you can use the webapp, free of cost! Pay heed to this last and most significant of the presentation tips because Meeting Diary has been designed keeping an ambitious presenter’s needs in mind.
Damien Ghosh is a prolific writer of articles that focus on technology, places and people. Damien has worked in different industries such as the information technology industry, the travel and tourism industry and the retail industry. He has worked in several projects for blue-chip companies, that are part of the IT, travel and tourism and retail industries. His work and his passion for traveling has made him journey throughout the world. He has led large work-teams to accomplish business goals successfully. His rich experience undoubtedly helps him to write extensively. Damien writes for magazines, the web and for newspapers. His articles have