Whether it’s a webinar, webcast or your next meeting, public speaking — for introverts — can be taxing. Or maybe you don’t mind speaking in public, but deplore the thought of company presentations? Simply imagining yourself standing in front of your peers and bosses, enlightening them with your highly technical or specific presentation might keep you up at night. We get that.
Presentations can be nerve wracking. After all, numerous studies in recent years indicate that people even fear public speaking more than they fear death. That’s crazy! If you want to ace your next presentation and not dissolve into a puddle of stress, here are a few key pieces of advice:
Practice, practice, practice
While you don’t have to memorize every tiny detail of your presentation – such as the way you use your hands when explaining the information on slide 4 – the more you practice and prepare, the less nervous you are likely to be.
Although you probably have notes for your slides, don’t include them. In fact, the more you don’t have to rely on them, the better you’ll be.
When you are practicing, make sure you are picking a key focal point to center on and only providing your audience with information they need to know – not extra information that isn’t entirely necessary. Overall, the important thought to remember is that while practice doesn’t make perfect, it can make you more prepared and give an engaging, relevant presentation.
Use the right tools
Without the right tools, your presentation is likely to flounder or fall flat altogether. If you are presenting on highly technical data or information, you will need plenty of charts, graphs, visuals and possibly even audio or video samples to get your point across.
You also have to use these tools correctly to ace your presentation. Guy Kawasaki, an American marketing specialist, author, and Silicon Valley venture capitalist, suggests the “10-20-30 Rule” for presentations. By this standard, your PowerPoint or slideshow should contain no more than 10 slides, only last 20 minutes and have text less than 30 point font.
Additionally, try to keep your slides clean and not overburden them with words and information. This will only overwhelm your audience. Essentially, you want to show them what you are talking about and then explain it concisely to convey your information correctly.