Leading a business presentation is nerve-wracking no matter what the topic is or to whom you’re presenting. From working out the mood of the room to making sure that you don’t forget an important piece of information, there seems to be so much to think about. Luckily, there are ways to make sure that you ace it: using online tools, practicing in advance, and learning how to think on your feet are all essential skills for anyone who’s going to give a presentation.
Tools for visuals. While the speaker is perhaps the main focus of most people’s attention, the visuals are also an important part of any presentation—and, thanks to tech, it’s possible to ace these even if you’re not a very design-oriented person. Gone are the days when relying on Microsoft PowerPoint was the only way to do it. Now, it’s possible to add professional-grade animations, explanatory overlays and much more. Free marketing videos can be created online, so it won’t sap too much time from your presentation preparation schedule.
Practice makes perfect. When you feel anxious or nervous about something, practicing is the obvious answer. Not only does it reduce the risk that you’ll say or do something wrong on the day, but it also means that you’ll stroll into the presentation room feeling much more confident. Booking a meeting space in your office at least a week in advance of the presentation is a good idea, as it means that you can get practicing well before the big day. Another run-through the day before is also a smart move.
Think as you go. Unfortunately for those who like to feel prepared, there’s only so far practice can take you when it comes to giving a presentation. In a fast-paced business environment, there’s always going to be an unexpected twist or turn. If you’re applying for funding to take your business idea to the next level, for example, then potential investors are always going to have questions that you haven’t taken into consideration.
If you’re giving a presentation at a job interview, then it’s likely that your interviewer will want to see how you respond to unexpected scrutiny. Learning how to remain calm and having some generic answers ready to use are two ways to prepare for thinking on your feet. Revising as much information as possible about the ins and outs of your topic, meanwhile, means that you’re less likely to be caught out.
When you hear that you’ve got a business presentation coming up at work, it’s understandable that your heart may sink a little bit. However, there’s no need to worry too much about it. By using tools to create stunning visuals, for example, you’ll have confidence from knowing that your audience will be impressed no matter what—and by learning how to address any problem that comes your way, you won’t need to be scared of curve-ball questions either.