Presentations

Speaking in front of other people is a huge fear for many people. In fact, public speaking was the number one fear in the United States in 2014. However, being able to present, and speak well is a extremely valuable skill when it comes to work. No matter what field you work in, you will probably have to speak in front of people at some point so might as well start preparing yourself to do the best job possible. It doesn’t matter that if you’re geeky, introverted, extroverted or whatever, it is always good to work on public speaking.

For myself, being the more introverted type that I am, presentations during school used to stress me out to no end. In high school, the peak of my presentation fear, I would stress all week about one presentation and the whole time I was up there, no matter how many times I practiced, I felt like I was constantly stumbling over words and looking stupid. This carried over into college my freshman year. However, that year things started to change, I did presentations almost weekly and it gets easier as time foes on. This is not the case for everyone, but things generally go better the more you do them. Anyway, doing presentations became a norm for me freshman year and I also stopped caring so much. This may sound bad, but if you care a little bit less about what other people think, it makes presenting easier. In my head I will be thinking that people are noticing little mistakes I make, or small detail about my clothes, when in reality, they usually could care less. I know that when I watch a presentation I don’t usually notice all the small things that the presenter is probably stressing about in his or her head.

Other than being confident, there are small tips that will make your presentation better. For example, do not use too much text on slides, do not read off slides, figure out what kind audience you’re talking too, etc. Little things like this will improve a presentation a lot. Nothing is worse than sitting down to watch a presentation to have someone read an essay on each slide word for word like I can’t read it myself. Also, make the presentation interesting. Stories, jokes (not too many), and be passionate about what you’re presenting. Stories are good because they tend to stick in your mind more and can invoke feelings, which will also make them remember more vividly. It is also important to make it look like you care about what you are presenting, even if you don’t really. You can usually tell if someone does not care about what they are presenting and it hurts the image, so at least try to make it seem like theres a tiny bit of passion.

Lastly, the book says to finish with a call to action. There should be something that needs to be done at the end. Why else would you be presenting? Finish with something clear, round everything up, and make sure the audience knows what they are supposed to do with this information now that you have presented it to them.

Presenting can be one of the most difficult things to do since so many people are terrified of speaking inferno of other for some reason, but it is a skill that can be learned. The more you do it, the better you will get. Likes all things that are difficult at the beginning, the start is the worst and it goes up from there.