If you have been in the business world for longer than five minutes, you will have found yourself at some point having to address a room full of people,
or (heaven forbid) present that business saving doohickey cooked up by your R&D department, to a room of super-impressive, super-degreed, super-judgemental, customers. It’s impossible to advise you not to be nervous, because you inevitably will be, and sometimes a good set of nerves can get your blood pumping just that little bit faster, can make you think a little bit more on the fly and can in effect give you that edge.
But there is a world of difference between a healthy dose of nerves and being so paralysed by fear that you stutter and sweat, completely fluffing the presentation. So calm down! But that’s impossible we hear you call, “I’m simply terrified”. Well no fear! Avo has you covered.
The Avo’s have been training people to become Rock star Presenters for years and can turn even the most simpering of souls into a cool, confident demi-god of the boardroom.
Show us, we hear you cry...
Tracy Scott from Avocado Vision believes that preparation is absolutely key! No ifs or buts. Rehearse your presentation again and again and
(very importantly) if you are using a PowerPoint or other presentation tool, rehearse it with that as well. Get used to changing slides and starting
demos. Nothing is worse than a presenter fumbling with his mouse (except maybe one who is adjusting his pants…or picking his nose, that might be worse).
Tell the story. People love stories, they relate to them, so tell the story of your presentation, of your company, or of your people. Use personal
experience and analogies. But read your audience.
If you are presenting to a room of hardened Accounting types who have no (ahem) sense of humour, then don’t crack jokes or be a
smarty pants. Stick to the facts.
You’ve heard it before, but honestly we just can’t emphasize it enough. Do not write out your presentation in full. Similarly don’t
read your presentation! Anyone smart enough to be in the room with you can read it themselves, in which case why aren’t you lying on a beach, cocktail in hand? Use headings, subheadings and bullets to break things up, but don’t read from the screen! If you are reading this on your way to your presentation, then this may be a snitch too late, but for next time, remember something vital. You care about the doohickey. You care about your company, or your people, but your audience only cares about what your doohickey can do for them. How it will impact their bottom line, or operational process. Does your presentation talk about the things they care about, or the things you care about?
Our last word is this. Breathe! Take a minute to pause, right at the beginning, collect your thoughts, and breathe. One of the reasons
we battle to think under stress is because we breathe too fast, starving our brain of oxygen. It’s worth the extra 10 second wait, right at the start to make sure you get it right!