Performing live didn’t bother Dean Martin at all. On the other hand, Frank Sinatra got quite nervous before shows. One night, right before a show, Dean noticed Frank’s anxiety again. Dean said, “Why are you so nervous, Frank? It’s just singing!”
Some people would rather walk on a bed of hot coals than make a public presentation. But it’s just speaking! Getting good at presentations is a sure-fire career builder. Just be prepared going in!
#1 – Define your purpose.
What is the desired outcome of your presentation? Know this before you do anything else. You’ll make a lot of choices as you build a great presentation; know your purpose so you make better decisions.
#2 – Know your audience.
What’s their background? What are their preferences? What has worked well for people who have made presentations to them before? What didn’t work? Design your presentation for their needs and wants.
#3 – Develop the appropriate collateral materials.
With your purpose, audience, and content in mind, develop needed support materials. For example, believe it or not, some people hate PowerPoint presentations. If you know that in advance, you might use flip charts or some other tool instead.
#4 – Develop a back-up plan.
Ask yourself, “What could go wrong?” For example, we’ve all witnessed technical difficulties. Prepare for it in advance. Your show must go on!
#5 – Plan for interaction.
Think about questions and comments that might arise. In some cases, you’ll respond on-the-spot. In others, you may defer to a follow-up discussion. Some questions or comments may not be relevant. In all cases, know how you’ll stay on track.
#6 – Put yourself in the role.
Refer to our blog, The Role of Role Playing. Rehearse by yourself, but also find someone who will listen to your presentation and follow-up with questions.
#7 – Focus on making a connection.
Seek to build trust. Make eye contact. Relax. Just plan on having a conversation so the real you shines through.
#8 – Don’t waste time.
A little small talk goes a long way. Get to your points early. Stay on point. Allow us to elaborate …
Whoops! We just about went against our own advice!
#9 – Call for action.
You started by determining your purpose. Now we’ve come full circle. Fulfill your mission by asking your audience to do what you set out to accomplish.
So keep these points handy. The next time you’re asked to present, review them, apply them, and you’ll be a star!
Our bigg quote today is by Philip Crosby.
Wow, we just did nine points. Good thing our readers are three times smarter than no one!
Next time, we’ll talk about how to be rich today. Except we guess it will actually be tomorrow! Until then, here’s to your bigg success!