Do You Have Presentation Stage Fright?

Edmiston Group - public speakingDoes the thought of having to give a presentation make you cringe? Do you struggle with where to even start? Here are some steps that you can follow to help you make sure that you are delivering a strong message while capturing the attention of you audience.

1. Keep the audience in mind.

The first step to creating the presentation is to keep the audience in mind. Remember it’s not about you, it’s about them. But you can’t stop there, you have to take into consideration your audience’s background and knowledge base. Failure to do this can cause your audience to not understand the message as you intended it or even simply not to receive any benefit from your presentation all together.

2. Use current examples.

Once you have completed step one you need to focus on your presentation. Be sure to use examples, charts, and references that are current. Nothing tells your audience that you have not done your homework and are not current in today’s industry like old or outdated information.

3. Build stories, examples, and audience interaction at five-minute intervals.

Part of a successful presentation is the ability to not talk at your audience, but engaging them in interaction, making them laugh, and giving stories that are relevant to what you are presenting. You can even reward participation with prizes such as candy or lottery tickets. By building in these interaction points throughout your presentation, you are better able to keep their attention and to gauge the level of the audiences’ understanding of your message. This also allows you to adjust your presentation on the fly if necessary.

4. Consider creating a handout.

Handouts can be a useful tool; however, they are not always necessary. Using handouts can create an unintended distraction as the audience pays attention to the handout over the message you are delivering. Use handouts when they will add to the presentation and contain useful information for your audience, not just so they have something to take back to the office.

5. Know your allotted time and stick to it.

This is a big one. Make sure that you know what your time limits are and stick to them. Nothing will lose attention more than your presentation exceeding the audiences’ expectations of their time usage. It is a good idea to plan on ending a few minutes early to help avoid unexpected delays causing you to go over your time constraints. Being punctual with your time shows your audience that you respect their time and generates more attention and respect toward you and your message.

Follow these five steps to build a killer presentation that people will remember. Capture the attention of your audience and send them away with the message you intended them to receive.


About the author: Autumn Edmiston is the CEO and owner of the Edmiston Group. The Edmiston Group is a multifaceted Pittsburgh based marketing consulting firm providing senior level marketing management services to businesses and non-profit organizations on a short or long term basis. Core areas of service are business development, marketing, strategic planning and public relations. The Edmiston Group has consistently delivered and implemented real-world, proven business marketing ideas and strategies for business growth.

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