Thursday, September 3, 2009

Presentation Tips

With all of the presentations I have been doing recently, I thought I would give some tips and insight into others doing presentations of their own. There are two reasons I love giving presentations and come across as a good presenter without too many flyaway nerves. The first is because I love what I am talking about. I love how social networking and media has revitalized public relations and I love sharing with folks in Vermont how they can more effectively market themselves. The second is because I was an honest drama queen in high school, trained singer and performer, and speech award winner back in my glory days. People who knew me then always wonder why I didn't continue with my singing and acting career - the truth is, I did. It's called owning and running a business and being in my own movie everyday. The presentations simply provide me with an outlet to perform.

That being said, I completely understand most people, unless they too were drama queens and kings in high school, find it completely frightening to give presentations. So, here are some tips to help try to calm your nerves:

1.) When speaking don't make eye contact until you are comfortable doing so, instead keep your gaze looking at the tops of people's heads - people will just think you are making eye contact with the person behind them and will pay attention more hoping that you will make eye contact with them.

2.) Have your technology set up well before and plan ahead so you are 100% sure it will be all set.

3.) Practice!!! Practice standing up, using hand gestures, moving your eyes and actually present and speak out load, not mumbling while looking over your notes around other people. If you are really brave, stand in front of a mirror.

4.) Pretend you are in a movie and everyone loves your character and is rooting for you to do a great job - I am not kidding - this works in all sorts of nerve-wracking situations!

5.) Add your personality into your presentation and plan an opener that shows your personality - it will help you relax and will help the audience relate to you and feel comfortable in your presence.

You Can Do It!!!


Anonymous said...

Good tips Rachel! Before giving my maid of honor toast at my sister's wedding I was SO nervous, but I actually did the looking at the tops of people's heads thing (without realizing it), and it really helped! And people loved it.

I think another key is to practice, but not practice TOO much. A certain amount of it needs to feel natural an unrehearsed.

I really like the movie tip and will be incorporating that into many upcoming situations!

Kenny said...

Here at, we help local, small businesses improve their web presence. I enjoyed your great post! I use similar concepts when I make presentations. Making a good impression on prospective clients with your presentation is very important. Good stuff! Thank you for sharing.