The time has come, you’ve reached the closing stages for your dream role in an x-factor business. And you’ve been asked to present your ideas on a particular topic.
Preparation for such an event can be daunting and it’s hard to know where to start. To help you, we’ve broken it down into 5 simple steps to ensure you ace your next presentation.
1. Know your audience
Presenting to a law firm compared to a tech startup presents different challenges. Researching your audience inside-out will be the single most important prep you do to succeed in your presentation.
Research the interview panel on LinkedIn, understand their field of specialisation, their publications and review their posts/commentary.
Tailor the content to your audience, make it stand out with keywords and topics of relevance.
2. Take your audience on a journey
To effectively convey your message and to influence you must structure your presentation or speech with a powerful beginning, insightful middle and compelling finish.
To get this right, grab some post-it notes and write down all the adjectives associated with your topic. Stick your notes to the wall, stand back and soak in the words. Use your post-it notes as a guide to writing your script.
Develop a subtle theme throughout your presentation. Come back to the theme to reinforce important points, this helps the audience remember your story. Allow each section to build on the one before, ensuring your ideas are easy to follow. The better the journey the more memorable the presentation.
It sounds so obvious doesn’t it? Truth is, it’s the part that people are rarely mindful of. However, get it right and you’ll set yourself up for success.
Here’s the method: Stand tall and plant your feet into the ground, imagine your roots are growing down into the earth. Breathe in deeply through your nose, pushing your diaphragm down and filling the space with your breath, exhaling as you say your sentence. On every inhale, imagine you are drawing breath from as far down as your toes – that’s how deep you need to go!
Focussing on breathing can take you from zero to hero when it comes to public speaking.
Leave yourself plenty of time for practice. Learn your script and become confident in the order of your slides. Whether you practice out loud to yourself, in front of your pet dog or to a friend – do it and do it a lot.
Try to practice in an environment similar to the live presentation. Remain still as you speak and make eye contact with your audience. Use visualisation techniques to think ahead to the presentation to help build your confidence.
The more you practice the more confident you’ll be.
5. Be authentic
Cut the crap! Faking it until you make it sounds great – but people see through the façade. You’ve got this far by being you, don’t change at the last hurdle! The presentation is time for you to double down and let the audience get to know you, for you.