There are so many elements to presentations. Engaging graphics, knowing your audience, keeping the audience engaged while hitting all your objectives and your fancy outfit you plan to wear the day of. One thing many forget (myself at one point) is to PRACTICE. Once I had to present a presentation on why I should get a promotion. I creating an engaging keynote, tested the conference room for tech issues hours before hand, wore a smart casual outfit.. one that showcased my aesthetic, research, example, testimonials.. I had it all! The night before a friend wanted to be present all of this beautiful data that would for sure give me a 10% raise and the title I was striving for. I chocked. I realized how unprepared I was at presenting my material I broke into tears. Just for a moment though because it was midnight and I was still in the office, and hours away from presenting to the President and Creative Director of the company. So don’t let this happen to you. Here is what you can do.
Say it out loud – somethings sound great on paper but pretty lackluster when you speak it.
Memorize – It may sound scripty, but get the bones of your presentation engrained.
Organize thoughts – Once the bones are there, pepper in some jokes and some more human moments, A major plus if you know some personal things about key members of your audience and can tie them in lightly for added engagement.
Test and Adjust – Present to a friend, an honest one. Adjust according to feedback.
Remember rehearsing and prep are the hardest part. Presenting is the easiest portion. Just for the record I did great in that presentation, got 10% raise and my title change I desired. Every since then I’ve used presentation skills to get pay increases, land jobs and pitch my services to clients. Practice can be tedious, but it’s the only way to get better.