18 May 2014by Georgie Cousens
Presentation Preparation: 7 tips for a smooth delivery
So what do you do with the last 20 to 30 minutes before you give your presentation? Are you sitting there sweating it out thinking about everything that you should’ve left out or put into your presentation? I’m sorry to say that this time has passed; the last hour is not the time to be tweaking things.
The last 20 minutes or so are probably the most critical for your performance. By this stage your presentation should be awesome (did I mention we can help you there), you will know what the audience is expecting from you and you will have rehearsed until you are absolutely comfortable, sweaty palms aside. So what’s left to do?
Quite a bit actually. Use these last few minutes to prepare your body and mind so that you can really nail your presentation and wow those in front of you:
- Go to the toilet. Depending on how nervous you are, it might be more than once. But I don’t think I’ve met a single person who doesn’t need to go before hand.
- How’s the equipment? Make sure you check in with the equipment to make sure everything is working as you expect. If the remote has a strange delay, make sure you know about it and practice a little. Do you have a contingency plan for in internet hiccup, is your presentation on a stick or in the Cloud in case of a laptop meltdown?
- Press the flesh. Awful term that, but go and have a chat with the audience. This is especially important if they are a bunch of strangers. You want to get up in front of these guys and feel like they are friends and on your side. The best way to do that is to have a quick chat.
- Take a deep breath – or five. Depending on how nervous you are about presenting to people, you might need to calm down. It’s a good policy to take a few deep breaths regardless of how experienced you are. Breathing deep will get your head in the right place.
- Practice your opening. Practice the first few slides in your mind. The first minute or two are always the toughest with a presentation. So the faster you hit your stride the better – practicing will help.
- Sip water. Avoid the dreaded ‘dry mouth’, try and sip room temperature water and if possible have some lemon in it. The lemon helps with dry-mouth and helps clears the throat.
- Smile. It’s good policy no matter where you are or what you’re doing, but smiling does release endorphins and helps you relax. Smiling also makes you look more approachable – no one wants to listen to a speaker who’s scowling at them. Watch faces, if you make eye contact and smile at someone in the audience, they will return that smile!
Just remember it’s normal and human to feel nervous before a big presentation. Butterflies are a good thing, it means you’re taking this seriously and that hit of adrenaline will take you through the presentation.
On the other hand, if you are nervous because your presentation is really not up to par, that’s a different story. I’m sorry but you’re just going to have to do your best.
If you need to give a presentation and you just want to focus on the presenting, and not how the presentation looks, I have an option for you – Ideaseed! That’s what we do, we make presentations awesome.
If you do give us the job of creating your presentation you can concentrate on your delivery, relaxed knowing that the presentation itself will compliment your delivered content and wow with a perfect design. Then you can spend those lost few minutes before the presentation concentrating on yourself and having a chin-wag with your audience!