Preparing to deliver a business presentation and speak in front of a group of people can be overwhelming. In fact, many people find public speaking downright scary. However, with the right mindset and preparation, you can leave your audience feeling enlightened and empowered to take action.
1. Take the Focus Off You
Nothing ruins a presentation more quickly than a presenter reading straight from their slides, or who rambles on about their own accomplishments, needs, wants, or desires. So, when preparing your presentation, put yourself in the audience’s shoes.
Then, tailor your messages to meet their needs. Ask yourself, “What does the audience need to know? What misconceptions about your presentation topic do they possibly have, which you can dispel? What are they feeling? What habits are keeping them from success?”
Other questions to consider providing answers to, in order to appease your audience:
- What’s the change your audience can expect?
- What are the tips, tools, or resources that can help members of your audience to become successful?
- How will your tips help them grow professionally, becoming more efficient at work, or personally?
- How will the information you have to offer make their lives easier?
At the end of the day, your presentation should ultimately provide your audience with a clear answer to this question: Why should I care?
2. Practice and Perform
Public speaking is a skill, not a talent. So, if you’re ready to put in the work, you can master overcoming your feelings of fear and anxiety.
First, structure your presentation around three key messages. Then, practice out loud, avoid jargon, and anticipate questions. Prepare to keep your eyes on the audience, not on your visuals.
Consider how you want people to feel during and after your presentation. Your energy speaks louder than words. If possible, ditch the podium, walk with confidence as you speak, and communicate with passion about your topic.
3. Speak From the Heart
Approach your presentation as if you were having a conversation with someone. Be unapologetically authentic. Also, don’t be afraid to inject your personality, and engage your audience during the presentation.
Other tips to ensure you execute your presentation in an engaging, yet organic way:
- Speak directly to individuals in the crowd.
- Ask open-ended questions or poll the audience.
- Ask your audience to tweet questions to maximize engagement.
- Talk about your own experiences. However, when you do this, be sure to share inspiring stories. That way people can recognize the power they have within themselves to take real action.
4. Remember Your “Now What?”
Here’s the thing—it’s not what happens during a presentation that matters, it’s what you inspire people to do afterward that counts. Thus, summarize your presentation with a call-to-action.