Public speaking. It’s the stuff of nightmares – like visiting the dentist or never-ending group texts. Unfortunately, it’s a necessary evil for most of us in business or the corporate world. Preparing and conducting presentations can be a regular occurrence, so managing (and possibly overcoming) those public speaking fears is important. Here are a few tips to help you do just that:
Don’t Jam in Too Much Material
The editing process is crucial. You do not want to fit in endless amounts of material within a 10-15 minute time frame. During editing, be sure to comb through all the information and cut out anything that isn’t absolutely necessary.
If you are using PowerPoint (or another presentation app), you should also refrain from including too much information on your slides. The audience’s eyes should be focused on you and not tuning you out as they try digesting all the information being presented on screen.
Engage With the Audience
Face it – most people dislike attending presentations almost as much as giving them. By boosting engagement, you can break up the monotony. Throw in some polls or surveys. These could lead into inviting questions. It will keep everyone attentive and make them feel as if they are part of a conversation versus attending a lecture.
Don’t Worry About Mistakes
Mistakes are going to happen. No one is perfect – except for maybe Beyoncé or Ryan Gosling, but you are neither so don’t sweat it. You alone planned the presentation. If you missed mentioning something, they will not know that – only you will. Do not get rattled by any missteps. As far as the audience is concerned, everything is going as planned. If you need to circle back to make a correction or mention something you omitted, the Q&A portion of the presentation is the time to do so.