We’ve all been there: you open your inbox and find an ask from your boss. There’s a big stakeholder meeting and you are tasked to present. The questions begin flooding your mind.
Where do I begin? What will I say? How much time do I have? What will others think if I do a terrible job?
Outside these questions, you start thinking of your own limitations: maybe you struggle with public speaking, self-confidence or have massive anxiety when it comes to being the centre of attention.
Fear not! While I can’t help you with all the things that goes with presenting, these few tips will hopefully help you navigate the uncertain waters ahead.
Before I do, consider this: presentations are an opportunity for you more than your audience. Speaking before others can help crystalize your own knowledge, confront your anxieties and build self confidence. And trust me, no matter how it goes you will be better for it!
Tip 1: Don’t Take the Negativity Train.
You know that old saying, “attitude is everything”? Well, it certainly is true when it comes to presenting!
Often, we ask ourselves ‘what am I going to even talk about for 10 minutes?”, or “what’s the point?” — these questions automatically starts our minds off on a negative path of self-doubt and questioning the purpose. It begins with a sceptical look, or even resentment towards our manager/direct report for even asking us to present. Avoid this path at all costs. How we interpret the world can really make/break our success. Not to get too philosophical, but we often are the causers of our own suffering.
Do THIS Instead
Begin thinking of your presentation as: “what question does my presentation answer?” Or, “what problem will this presentation attempt to solve?” These two questions are immediately humbling to even the most technical expert. At the core of every good presentation, is a question and answer; or a problem and solution.
Surprisingly, this is not nearly as difficult as you may think. When Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone in 2007, the tech leader could have spent the…