How To Knock Your Presentations Out Of The Park

by Nov 18, 2021Communication, Earning Trust & Respect, Leadership Training0 comments

It’s Friday afternoon and your boss has just let you know that she needs you to step in on an important presentation- on Monday. You know this is critical to your company’s business but the mere thought of getting up in front of a group of leaders you haven’t met immediately sends cold, prickly shivers down your spine. You’re worried because you don’t know the group well, the information is new to you and you haven’t had much time to rehearse. 

Sound familiar? Here’s Part 1 of 2 on how you can knock YOUR presentation right out of the park. Hint: It’s easier than you think when you use these solid strategies. Be sure to tune in to the video in this newsletter for two more winning tactics to use right away!

How To Knock Your Presentations Out Of The Park

If you feel your composure completely flies out the window when you have to be in front of a group – of any size – read on. 

FIRST, remember it’s all about the conversation:
When it comes to delivering a stellar, smooth presentation, your goal is to be able to turn every presentation or communication into a conversation. In this and subsequent newsletters, I’ll be providing solid tactics you can use right away to help you make your presentation smooth, smooth and EVEN smoother. And, there’s a bonus: each of these tactics will absolutely help you calm any jitters (and get rid of that little trickle of sweat tickling at your forehead!).

NEXT, make the most of the Three Cs:

  • Confidence: By far, this is the biggest issue I see with clients, customers and colleagues who want to improve their presentation skills. This has to do with both content (see below) and the way we position ourselves, such as body language and voice (we’ll delve into the last two areas later). Think about how you can focus on projecting confidence and credibility, without being overconfident- that, after all, is just bluster.

  • Calmness:  Often tough to display when you have butterflies going 100 mph in your stomach, this is so important. A good way to see if you’re projecting the calmness you’re hoping for is to do a self-video: any distracting habits will show up right away. If you missed my previous video on self-video tips, see it here or on LinkedIn.

  • Content:  Be sure you know your content upside down, backwards and sideways! This may sound obvious, however sometimes we decide to wing it which can result in a less-than-optimum presentation. While you absolutely want your presentation to be a conversation, the key is to know your content SO WELL that you can be completely flexible if the course of the conversation changes, or if you need to pivot quickly.

Prepare: Pay attention (and do your homework)

What trips us up when it comes to ensuring a successful conversational outcome? 

Take this example: When I first started out in business, I worked at a large luxury hotel with a leader who became visibly fidgety and agitated at the very idea of leading a challenging conversation. If a conversation was about to go sideways, he turned to his phone- literally- answering every call and making other calls during the discussion. The result? He appeared unprepared and uninterested, and his employees and customers left the conversation feeling dissatisfied. 

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