Some people fear public speaking more than death and I find that fascinating.
Being able to present to a board or team is a good skill to have and it can give you an upper hand at work.
No-one naturally likes it, but they practice until they are good at it – and a time to practice is while meetings are online.
If you have the opportunity to present on Zoom or Teams, do it.
It’s a good warm up.
The key to presenting is to only ever talk about things you know – your area of expertise.
If you don’t know enough, research it, practice it.
If you are asked about something you don’t know, say “I don’t know enough to respond, I will get back to you”.
When you are speaking, you are educating the boss or team on a particular project or topic – you are helping them understand something.
Even in a sales presentation, you are explaining how something can solve a problem for a prospective client.
It doesn’t matter if you are a nurse or in IT or sales, you are speaking to teach.
This means the validation you have presented well is that they understand what you have just taught them.
If you end up managing a team, you will need to be able to run a meeting.
See it as a next step into your career pathway.
For a successful presentation, always dress comfortably and be presentable.
Don’t do “death by PowerPoint” but use it only as a trigger to remember what you want to talk about.
Use statistics, a graph, a funny meme or something else that is going to captivate the audience.
Don’t present for longer than 30 minutes – 20 minutes is even better.
Keep it short and sharp.
Instead of a deep and meaningful three-hour session, do a 20-minute presentation then hand out a booklet with more information.
It’s a missed opportunity if you turn down a request to present.
Don’t let fear control your decisions.
The more you over-think it and convince yourself you are crap at it, it is a self-fulfilling prophecy.
To calm the nerves, dress cool because you will probably sweat until you get used to it.
And don’t over-think the looks on people’s faces – sometimes they will stare at you and look uninterested but it’s usually a sign they are paying attention and learning.
If you make a big deal of it, then it will be a big deal.
Amanda Rose is a business consultant, workplace trainer, LinkedIn influencer and founder of six organisations – and now she is tackling your career questions for SMART Daily every week.
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