Oh yeah. It’s that time of the school year again.
Presentations; they are either something that people have no problem with whatsoever as they take their place up in front of the projector screen without so much as breaking stride OR a tyrannical terror that seemingly seeks to swallow you whole within it’s thousand toothed mouth of anxiety, lack or preparation and stomach cramp related trauma. And I for one fall within the first category. But that does not mean I wasn’t ever apart of the latter.
You see, doing begets doing. And the more that you find yourself slugging up towards the front of the classroom to drone on about a topic that 95% of the class genuinely have no interest in, the less likely you are to stutter your way to an award winning Jeff Goldblum impersonation. Yes, that joke was dated by about 20 or so years, but I regret nothing. In the end, it’s your very acceptance of this monotony and willingness to carry out this seemingly Herculean effort that determines whether your self esteem is the metaphorical equivalent to George McFly or Rambo.
Want a few ways to make presentations less of a scare than federal court? I might be able to list a few …
1: Open up with a joke. Or just giggle at something. Not just anything, mind you. Say if the presentation doesn’t start off smoothly or the preparation takes longer than expected. Capitalise on that moment to familiarise yourself with your audience. At least you’ll know if they laugh at your jokes or not. Actually, maybe you shouldn’t tell jokes. The teacher might mark you down for being a smart ass.
2. Be passionate about your topic. Or about the information that you are presenting. OR be passionate ABOUT presenting information. Just find some enjoyment out of it somehow. Otherwise, the whole experience will be as stressful and painful as a divorce mediation. Except the only thing you might lose is respect. And your audience.
3. Read off the slides, but don’t. Basically, what I mean is, you need to simply rephrase what’s written on the slide while adding a little extra trivia. This has worked for me so many times that I still can’t believe how many B+s and As I’ve gotten on presentations in the past. You’d think that someone would’ve caught on by now!
4. Feel like your presentation isn’t quite as lengthy as it needs to be? Why not open up a Q & A right before calling the quits? Of course, you might receive no questions at all. In that case, it’s failed. You might also receive a question that you have no clue how to answer, making you look completely and utterly unrehearsed and uninformed. Then you have also failed.
5. I honestly couldn’t think of a fifth bit of advice. So I’m giving this one a pass. Otherwise, just believe in yourself.
Yeah … that’s really all their is to it. Listen; you’ll do fine. Really.
Just have a bit of faith in yourself.