Whether you are about to present to a room full of people or head out for a job interview, here are 3 key things to remember.
Starting your presentation with a smile is a great way to put everyone in the room at ease – including yourself.
This is because there is a wonderful science behind smiling – not only do human beings smile when they experience happiness, but they also experience happiness when they smile.
By forcing yourself to smile from the moment you walk on stage, you’ll encourage your brain to feel happy and relaxed (instead of nervous and stressed).
It is also important to consider the feelings of your audience at the start of any presentation. They too may be feeling apprehensive about what they are about to experience.
Smiling at your audience should encourage them to smile back, creating positive energy in the room from the very beginning.
2. Be prepared to go with the flow
There is nothing worse for an audience than spending an hour listening to someone reading their slides word for word, or mumbling their way through a pre-prepared answer the moment a question is asked.
This approach can be boring and robotic, and could even cost you your credibility, if your pre-prepared answer does not properly match the question that has been asked.
Instead of memorising a script, you should aim to know your presentation topic inside and out – and try to address your audience in a conversational tone.
Being mentally prepared to go with the flow will also help you to relax, as you won’t spend your presentation worrying whether an audience question might throw you off course.
3. Don’t fidget
One of the worst things you can do during any presentation or interview is fidget. This includes everything from tapping your fingers on the presentation stand to failing to maintain steady eye contact.
If you’re unsure about how much you fidget, try filming yourself during a rehearsal. You may be surprised to find how many times you tuck your hair behind your ears or click your pen.
Also be conscious of any props you may be using on the day. Swinging from side to side in a swivel chair, or twirling a pointer stick like a baton, isn’t going to help your audience feel at ease.
Do you have any tips?
Please leave them in the comments box below.
Megan Jones is a new writer for Presentation Magazine.