You have been invited to speak at an association meeting or asked to give a PowerPoint presentation to the company’s key stakeholders about a new product idea. However, you are not a polished presenter and the thought of getting up in front of a group has made your throat tighten and your knees wobble.
Below is a sequential checklist of things to do before and during your presentation to keep your nerves in check.
Your PowerPoint Presentation Countdown
Here are the things to do before your talk in order to optimize time and keep stress levels at bay:
Go over your presentation and make sure it is up-to-date and relevant to the audience you are delivering it to. If you are talking to a large audience, increase your font size and reduce the text on each slide. Make your changes and have it reviewed by 2-3 other colleagues for final input.
Send your presentation electronically to the event organizer. If your presentation is very large, upload it to the cloud and send the organizer a link. Ask them to review it and load it onto the PowerPoint equipment prior to your big day.
Also, go over any special needs you have – sound system, large screen monitor rentals for a video presentation, lavalier mic, remote clicker and/or flipchart stand are all common requests.
Come up with a great opening line. You only have a few moments to grab the attention of your audience and reel them in. Posing a great question, sharing a startling statistic or telling a story are all effective ways to begin your presentation.
Get up on stage and ask the AV technicians to create the room environment the way it will be when the audience is in it. Get used to the lighting, do a sound check, run through your PowerPoint presentation, understand how to use the remote clicker. Make sure you are heard from every point of the room, especially if you are going to roam around it. View your busiest slide and determine if the font is large enough. If you are showing a video, ensure it is easy to queue it up or have someone do it for you.
Put everything away and turn to other things. Check your email, return phone calls or take a quick walk. You know your presentation cold. You don’t need to do anything else but use this time to relax and forget about it!
Take this time to meditate. Find a quiet room and listen to a guided meditation app or just take deep breaths for about 5 minutes. Close your eyes and relax. Say positive affirmations, such as “I will be great!” or “I really know my stuff.” Focus on this moment to keep any jitters at bay.
Whether you greet attendees at the door or come down from the stage, things will go much smoother if you connect with your audience a few minutes before your presentation. Go around the room and shake hands with as many people as you can. Smile and let them know you are glad they are there.
Connect with your audience right away. Look to the right, left and center of the audience frequently.
If you decide to poll the audience during the presentation, use a product like Sli.do or PollDaddy to ask questions relative to the topic or to ask for general feedback. Think of polling apps as conversation starters.
Allow the audience to ask questions frequently – don’t save them to the end. Put microphones out in the audience (either on stands or have runners) and encourage questions throughout the presentation.
Most of all, don’t be married to your PowerPoint! Let the audience dictate where your presentation goes because if they are engaged, you are more likely to win them over.
Hartford Technology Rental Has Your Presenters Covered
Before your next event, call us at 888-520-5667 and let us show you how we can make your presenters stand out from the rest, well within your budget parameters.