Presenting with confidence

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Presenting can have all of us feeling some trepidation and we know that more than most. When it comes to presenting your work or ideas this can feel daunting and often you don’t know where to start.

We have some handy tips below to help you feel confident, professional, and sure of your work.

A great presentation is made up of the following:

Design

  • What are your objectives?
  • Do you understand your audience? In designing your presentation you must think about your audience, their demographic and how they’ll receive your argument
  • Do you need a Q+A?
  • Can you provide hard copies for those who’d like to learn more?

Preparation

  • This is where you will research the topic you’ll be talking about, and research is key. What kind of structure are you designing the presentation in?
  • A great tip is to try and include the power of three: a list of three things that make a point more memorable.
  • Focus on key points and build around them.
  • Practice reading your presentation out loud to a friend or colleague to see how they gauge it and whether you need anymore information.

Delivery

  • On the day of the presentation be sure to arrive with plenty of time to familiarise yourself with your surroundings
  • Check all technical equipment and practice with a microphone if necessary
  • When you begin your delivery remember this simple technique: think, breathe, speak. It’s that simple. Breathing is key, and allows you to slow your thoughts down and remind yourself that you are present
  • Try and maintain eye contact and focus on a few friendly faces for reassurance.
  • Don’t let any visual aids take centre stage, that’s for you to invite the audience in through your speech.
  • Before you begin take a few breaths, ground your feet, shoulder width apart and allow your body to relax a little. This will give you a stronger sense of belief in yourself and the audience will respond well to it.

Evaluation

  • It’s so important to understand how well you’ve done by asking for feedback. You can present people with a form to fill in at the end.
  • Question whether you fulfilled the brief? Did your timings work to plan? How were your interactive elements and visual aids?
  • Ask yourself whether you engaged the audience, asked the right questions, were you clear enough with your points, and overall were you clear in your delivery?

Visual Aids

Visuals are fantastic and a great way to engage your audience. Don’t be afraid of using them, but it’s best to understand how to use them effectively.

  • Make sure your text is the same throughout a powerpoint presentation
  • Your colour scheme represents your message
  • Bullet points are great to make short statements
  • Pictures are brilliant at capturing your words in a simple image
  • Charts and diagrams help people to understand your message more clearly
  • Audio and visual images in youtube can help bring a point to life

Responding to questions

We know responding to questions can feel daunting, that’s why with a little preparation you can be sure that you’ll be in a great spot to respond clearly and with confidence:

  • Whilst preparing the presentation, take into account what kind of questions you’ll be asked and prepare your answers accordingly
  • Advise your audience on how you’ll be responding to their questions, i.e at the end, during, etc. Take control of this and you’ll feel more confident
  • Remember to repeat each question so that all members of the audience can hear. This will give you time to process the question and think of an answer more clearly
  • Try not to panic if you don’t know the answer straight away, but explain that you’ll respond in person at the end

Watch the masters at work

By watching strong and successful people giving speeches you can gain a lot of insight into their specific style and secrets. We recommend watching Steve Jobs, Oprah Winfrey, amongst many others you can find on YouTube.

Most of all, just take a breath, be yourself, and have confidence in your work. We believe in you!