You’ve gotten used to delivering presentations from a computer screen. Actually, you have become pretty proficient. Great! That’s an awesome skill to have. But, now you have to shift your presentations to in-person. No worries, you can deliver confident and powerful presentations again. All it takes is a little preparation, some practice, and a winning mindset.
Before we get into the tips. Let’s start out by saying, don’t doubt that you can do it because you’ve been presenting information virtually for several months now. But, it’s time for you to shine in-person at a meeting, conference, etc. Remember, you were asked to present because you can do it. Otherwise, you wouldn’t have been asked.
We know that presenting virtually is much differently than in person. It seems like there is less pressure, its less stressful, and although your camera may be on, not everyone virtually is paying attention to you as if they were in person.
We also know that if you are like most people, you probably don’t like presenting very much at all. You are not alone! The fact of the matter is some of the best most well-known speakers and actors have confessed that they don’t like giving presentation. So, when you look out at your audience, know that you’re always in good company amongst some of the best.
One more thing before we get into the tips. Remember, only 10% of what comes out your mouth gets communicated. That leaves 90% to non-verbal cues. That means if your body language, expression and gestures communicate confidence, you will come across as confident.
But just how do you create this confidence?
The secret: being prepared; practicing; and having identified beforehand, instant solutions for de-stressing.
There’s a famous motto that says, “If you think you can, you can.” We like to say, “No worries, you got this”!
Here’s 4 tips that will help build your confidence and prepare you to deliver powerful presentations.
Confidence builder #1: Know your content
Identify and bullet point your key messages. Arrange them in order so they tell a clear story. Use flashcards or paper to write down cues for your key messages. The idea is to refrain from reading them word-for-word while presenting. Instead, have these cues ready as a backup for what you know and want to say.
Get creative and enhance your presentation with what you have to say with supporting tools and interesting visuals. This achieves two things 1) it will stimulate your audience and 2) it takes the spotlight off of you.
Don’t worry if you aren’t a graphic designer. There’s a few online design tools that you can use to bring your presentations to life. Or, tap into your resources if you know a graphic design expert - ask for their advice.
Confidence builder #2: Practice makes it a “piece of cake”
Practice delivery of your lines or cues in front of a mirror. Look at your body language. Stand straight, be sure to use smooth hand gestures, and limit unnecessary movement such as rocking back and forth from one foot to the other or fidgeting with clothing.
You might feel funny talking to yourself in a mirror but it works. Practice until the words flow like water. Find your “confident look.”
When you’re ready, practice in front of a friend or two. Ask them each for 3 things you did well and 1 thing you could improve.
Confidence builder #3: Create your “winning scene”
Visualize yourself delivering your presentation. Imagine you are on stage, in a movie, or explaining your concept to a bunch of friends. Then see your audience’s reaction.
What does that “winning scene” look like for you?
Visualize it over and over until everything is vividly clear to you.
Confidence builder #4: Go for it!
Identify ways to calm your nerves before you even begin: take deep breaths, make raspberry noises with your lips (of course, before you are in front of everyone) or close your eyes for 3-seconds before beginning. Find whatever works for you.
Think positive and ignore any negative thoughts or concerns by envisioning your “winning scene.”
As you present, keep eye contact with as many people as you can—this also conveys confidence. It may help to determine a shape in your mind and make eye contact around the room as though you were creating that shape with your line of vision.
Keep your pace slow and steady. Many of us tend to speed-talk when presenting. Give moments to your presentation that allow for the audience to digest points that you make or a story you share. Use different tones and fluctuations to add to these moments.
Use these 4 tips to help build or reboot your confidence to present powerful presentations in person. You’ll be well prepared, make your points confidently, answer questions clearly, and focused on your winning scene.
Remember “If you think you can, you can.”
“You got this!”