I’ve received a lot of questions on how beat presentation anxiety from My Corporate Climb members lately, so I thought I’d devote a blog post to becoming a dynamic presenter. Presentations are an important communication tool. More than one career has been launched by a great presentation.
Tweet 117 in my career advice book Success Tweets says, “Presentation steps: 1) Determine the message; 2) Analyze the audience; 3) Organize the information; 4) Design visuals; 5) Practice.”
A lot of people suffer from presentation anxiety. Public speaking can be frightening, although it doesn’t have to be. Presenting is like any other process, there is a series of logical steps to follow. The five steps to effective presentations in the Tweet have served me well for over 35 years.
In this post, I’m sharing the material I cover in a three-day workshop on presentations skills. So this is a quick overview, but one that captures all the basics you need.
Breaking the presentation process down into the five easily manageable steps listed in Tweet 117 in Success Tweets is the best way I know to get over presentation anxiety. Let’s look at them in some detail.
- Determine your message.
- Analyze your audience.
- Organize your information for impact.
- Design supporting visuals.
- Practice, practice, practice.
Ask yourself these questions to help you determine your message:
- What do you want or need to communicate?
- What information does the audience need?
- Why do they need it?
- At the end of the presentation, what should the audience: Understand? Remember? Do?
Determine the best way to communicate your message by analyzing your audience. Ask yourself these questions:
- Who is the audience for this presentation?
- Why are they attending?
- What is their general attitude toward you and the topic?
- What is their knowledge level on this topic?
Use the golden rule of journalism: “Tell them what you’re going to tell them, Tell them, Tell them what you told them” to organize your information.
- Begin at the end. Prepare your presentation ending first. This is helpful, because it keeps you focused on where you’re going.
- Prepare your presentation beginning. A good beginning has two things: a hook, and an outline of your talk.
- Fill in the blanks with your content.
Design visuals to support and enhance what you are saying. Good visuals support the points you are making, create audience interest, improve audience understanding, save you time – a picture is worth a thousand words, and they are memory aids.
Practice, Practice, Practice. There is an old saying, “practice makes up for a lack of talent”. Prior to getting in front of an audience, say your presentation out loud – several times. Listen to yourself. Consider videotaping yourself. If you don’t have the equipment, practice in front of a mirror, or your spouse, or your dog or cat – just practice.
The career success coach point here is simple common sense. You can beat presentation anxiety and use presentations as a way to enhance your career success. Dynamic communicators present with impact. Many people are frightened by the idea of standing in front of a group of people and doing a talk. Unfortunately, presentations can make or break your success. You can conquer your fear of public speaking by following the career advice in Tweet 117 in Success Tweets. “Presentation steps: 1) Determine the message; 2) Analyze the audience; 3) Organize the information; 4) Design visuals; 5) Practice. If you follow the career advice in these five steps – especially number 5, practice – you’ll become a confident, successful presenter and a career success.
That’s my career advice on becoming a dynamic presenter. What do you think? Please take a minute to share your thoughts with us in a comment. As always, thanks for reading my daily musings on life and career success. I really value you and appreciate you.
PS: If you haven’t already done so, please download a free copy of my popular career advice book Success Tweets and its companion piece Success Tweets Explained. The first gives you 140 bits of career success advice tweet style — in 140 characters or less. The second is a whopping 390 + pages of career advice explaining each of the common sense tweets in Success Tweets in detail. Go to http://budurl.com/STExp to claim your free copy. You’ll also start receiving my daily life and career success quotes.
PPS: I opened a membership site last September. It’s called My Corporate Climb and is devoted to helping people create career success inside large corporations. You can find out about the membership site by going to http://www.mycorporateclimb.