Picture the scene, you’re slowly getting settled into your very first graduate job when your boss asks you to make a presentation to your entire team.
You’re probably feeling pretty nervous and just a little bit anxious and who can blame you? Giving a presentation can seem like a pretty daunting task when you’re the newbie around the office. Here are just a few tips that will make it easier.
Get the info
If you’re unsure about what to include in the presentation don’t be afraid to ask. Get a rough idea about length, preferred format and the main points to include from your manager. No one will expect you to know exactly what you’re doing straight away. It’s completely normal to have some questions. It’s better to find out the answers early on instead of panicking mid-speech.
Do a tech test
It might sound silly but if you want your first presentation to go to plan then it always pays to test out all the equipment beforehand. Does your laptop connect with the projector? Is there wifi or do you need to download your presentation to your desktop? Having everything in one place will help to quell your nerves on the day.
Start with a bang
If you want to capture your audience’s attention then you need to start off on a strong note, perhaps with a startling statistic or quick one-liner. This will help to set the tone for the rest of the presentation and will make you appear more confident (even if you don’t feel it!).
Converse don’t preach
When you’re designing a presentation you should include a couple of points where you can interact with the audience. This makes it much more useful and interesting for the people listening as they can ask questions. Remember you’re a human, not a presentation robot so try to make it as natural as possible.
People are programmed to respond to stories. They help us to pay attention and they also help us to remember things better. Make sure that you litter a few anecdotal stories throughout your talk.
You should also treat your presentation as a story with a beginning, middle and end. The structure should flow and be easy to follow.
Use your body
Research shows that a massive 93% of communication is actually non-verbal. If you want to ace your presentation then you need to work on your body language. Stand up straight, plant your feet shoulder width apart, use your hands, make eye contact and don’t bury your head in your laptop.
Remember, if your first presentation doesn’t go well you can just chalk it down to experience. It takes time and practice to become an excellent speaker. Don’t be too hard on yourself.