Not everyone is comfortable presenting and as someone who has to present quite a bit and still isn’t comfortable with it, I thought I’d share some tips that I’ve gathered from a variety of places. When you make a presentation it’s not just about you. You need to represent when you present.
Develop a presentation persona – Your presentation persona is completely comfortable making presentations and is really good at it. Become your presentation persona when it’s time to present.
Talk to the audience – Try and connect with the people you are presenting to by looking at them and directing what you are saying to the people, not just the room.
Make a joke, an appropriate joke – It’s ok to joke with your audience as long as the joke is appropriate, timely and natural. If you are just not a funny person don’t try to be.
It’s okay to be human – Don’t let presentation stumbles and technical difficulties be your demise. Your audience understands that you are a human being. At least most of them do.
Using PowerPoint (or equivalent) slides – Your slides are supporting materials, they are not the presentation. You should be able to deliver the presentation without the word-filled slides.
Practice out loud – If you can’t find anyone to listen, practice in the car, in the shower or wherever you find a place to talk out loud. There are many people who just wing it and do fine but why do fine when you can blow it out of the water?
And now for a question:
Do people really picture the audience naked? I think that would either make me laugh uncontrollably or make me more uncomfortable.