10 tips for presenting at work successfully


woman presenting behind lecturn

If presenting at work or speaking in public is a source of anxiety for you then you are not alone.

For some, the anticipation of  presenting at work is akin to the anxiety you feel just before calling your telecoms provider to tell them that your broadband doesn’t work.

Something inside you tells you it’s probably not going to be a great experience

Presenting at work isn’t so daunting when you understand what’s really important.

Here are 10 tips for presenting at work successfully

 1. Don’t be yourself 

You will have heard these words, ‘You’ll be fine, just be yourself’.

Whilst that sounds like healthy advice on the surface there is a greater force at play.

When some people are just being themselves, they can appear as boring

As harsh as that sounds, at mindful presenter we believe that nobody was born boring.

Boring is something we learn

Here’s another option

Be your best self; the very best of who you are.

Remember that person?

The 6 year old inside of you that was so excited on Christmas Eve all those years ago.

You couldn’t wait to get to bed and sleep all night with one eye open, desperate to get a glimpse of Santa.

The person who felt euphoric the moment their parent let go of their bike and they realised they were ‘free’.

That person who was just told they passed their driving test or succeeded at an important job interview and suddenly felt unstoppable.

Call on all of the great and good you have within you to let your audience see who you really are.

2. Use PowerPoint (or other visual aids)

At Mindful Presenter we are tired of hearing coaches tell presenters to avoid using PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi or any other visual aids.

We use PowerPoint in all our presentation training courses.

Mindfully crafted, they add enormous value to our delegates learning experience.

The key is to use them wisely, creatively and effectively.

Research suggests that 65 percent of the population are visual learners.

3. Make friends

Remember when you were a child and you went out to play with your friends?

Often the last words you heard from your mother were, ‘play nicely’.

Even though we’re all grown up now and no longer in the park, a presentation is a wonderful opportunity to, ‘play nicely’ and make friends.

– Find things you have in common with your audience and talk about them.

– Tell them great stories.

– Smile, empathise with them and show them you care.

– Pay them compliments.

– Listen to them.

– Ask them questions.

4.Find something you care about

If we don’t really care about the message we are presenting, it’s very unlikely that our audience will.

Why should they care, if they can see that we don’t?

When presenting at work it helps if we do so with passion.

Try to find passion it rather than fake it

Find something in your content that you really care about.

5. Play with post it notes

Don’t turn on your Laptop, call up the last PowerPoint slides you used and start to write your new content over the old.

All that does is stifle creativity.

Play with large, colourful ‘post it’ notes and marker pens instead.

Start with 3 ‘post it’ notes and write down:

– Your message

– What you want your listeners to feel about your message

– What you want your audience to do with your message

6. Watch TED talks

One of the greatest resources for speakers today is available for free 24/7.

It’s accessible in the comfort of our own home, office and at the touch of a screen or click of a key.

It’s even on your phone!

TED is an amazing learning resource for presenters

Take whatever you feel you really like and  could work for you in terms of  your personal style and delivery.

Adapt and integrate those principles into your own key strengths.

7. Ask yourself ‘so what?’

What would you say if your audience asked you ‘So what?

‘I understand  your point but so what? why should I care about it?’

As you prepare your presentation ask yourself that question before your audience does.

Put yourself in their shoes

Ask yourself what the specific value and relevance is for your audience for everything you plan to share.

Make sure you have really good answers and don’t leave your audience thinking, ‘So what?

8. Don’t sell to them

That’s it, really.

Most people don’t like being sold to by presenters so just don’t do it.

9. Choose your coach wisely

It pays well to find a great coach.

There are plenty of presentation coaches who are extremely competent, yet have never personally given an important or high stakes presentation in their life.

In our experience, the best presentation coaches are those that have presented extensively themselves to a wide range of audiences in a variety of settings.

They have presented successfully in difficult and challenging speaking situations.

They’re the ones you want.

10. Meditate 

The practice of meditation has been proven to help people to:

– Focus

– Improve memory

– Improve attention

– Enhance creativity

– Relax

Before presenting at work spend 5 to 10 minutes meditating

If you are presenting at work:

– Book yourself onto a powerful public speaking course.

– Invest in some really good one to one public speaking coaching.

– Get yourself some excellent presentation training

Image: Courtesy of istock.com

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