1. Invite the audience to join and shape your presentation.
It’s one thing to prepare and deliver a one-way presentation, and there are times when that is exactly what’s called for (Eg., TED talks). However, most business presentations call for us to be responsive to the needs and responses of our audience. Watch, listen and ask people for real-time feedback if engagement seems low, and follow their behavioral cues to deliver the kind of presentation that has he power to engage, and even transform your audience.
2. Make friends with your nerves.
What happens when we fight our nervous energy? It typically wins and we end up with more, not less, of it! I have a friend who talks about nervousness as ‘energy waiting to be committed.’ In this framework, anxiety represents our passion, our commitment to doing well, and the genuine hope that all will go well and the audience (or customer) will be thrilled with our performance.
3. Be You.
There is a reason YOU are presenting! Maybe you are the expert or you tell a great story and know how to inspire people, whatever it is, YOU are the presenter. Over the years, we’ve seen hundreds of people lose their energy and character the minute they step behind a podium. Take a deep breath and push that podium aside! Use your humor, your authenticity, your endearing social awkwardness, smarts, joy- whatever it is that is the mark of who you are- use it to connect with and serve your audience.
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