Do you struggle with the thought of presenting? Speaking in public? Standing up in a meeting to demo something or show some charts? Well read on and learn how you can make it easier for yourself.
Present and GROW! A simple guideline to help you when you are presenting to people:
G – Grab their interest
The first 20 seconds are vital! If you have already been introduced, or are listed on a programme of events, it’s really not necessary to spend the first 20 seconds repeating your name. So what does work? A simple fact, a reflection, an interesting statistic, or a rhetorical question. This will grab the audience in those vital first seconds as curiosity kicks in. After answering the question yourself, or commenting on the interesting statistic, THEN you can introduce yourself again or reassure them why you are there.
R – Relate the “grab” to the audience (a WIFM, a WIFT and a WIFE)
Always relate to the subject of your initial comments. Before the event, find out the WIFM (What’s in it for me?) Clarify exactly what you want from the presentation / meeting / event. Once you are clear of that, then endeavour to find out the WIFT (What’s in it for them?) Find out what is motivating these people to be here listening to you. Use this information to connect with your audience and build rapport (I am like you, you can like me). This will convert to a WIFE (What’s in it for everyone) and of course a WIN-WIN.
O – Overview of the Material
It’s a simple rule in Training – tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you have told them! Begin with one simple agenda or intro slide to show your audience what to expect. Then cover the content. Then recap on what you have covered. A great tip if you are nervous, is to put the recap slide AFTER the Questions? Slide. Never finish with a slide reading “Any Questions?” You will be there for the day.
W – Wow them with images and clever animation
That does not mean 20 slides with amazing pictures, or objects zipping across the slides. It means “less is more”. Use images instead of bullets where ever you can (an image can speak a 1000 words). Use custom animation to animate certain objects every couple of slides, if using a slide show.
What also works very effectively is to have an actual sample or “prop” of some kind, particularly if it is something that can be passed around your audience. The key is to remember every individual has a different learning style or representational system. Some are highly visual, some people are predominantly auditory, or perhaps kinaesthetic. It’s good to prepare and present to all types. If you can provide a trigger for the 3 main types – Visual, Auditory and Kinaesthetic (VAK), then you will appeal to the majority of the audience.
If you can, find an “endorser”, someone who expressed great interest in your talk, or really believes in your ideas being presented at the meeting. A “friend” in the audience is worth 100 outside!
Obviously, there are specific tools we can use to help with nerves, but in most cases if you are passionate about your subject, and have properly prepared and done a practice run (even on the dog) these simple 4 GROW tips will help you get through that presentation with ease.
So what do you do to prepare for an impending presentation?