So you’ve just been handed the assignment of doing a big presentation at work? Don’t panic! Here are some tips to help get you started.
Get Your Facts Together:
Your head may still be spinning from having received the nerve-wracking assignment of giving a presentation at work, but that shouldn’t prevent you from having the presence of mind to ask a few questions right off the bat. First of all, of course, you will want to know exactly when the presentation will be, what it is you are expected to present, who will be in the audience, and even what room it will be in (so you know, for instance, whether or not there is going to be a projector). The more you know, the better you can prepare for what’s to come. When it comes to public speaking and presenting, the more you can keep the surprises to a minimum, and the more elements that are under your control the more at ease you will be.
Gather Your Information:
Chances are, if you are the one that has been asked to give this presentation, you are the person who is most qualified to do so. While you can take comfort in that fact, that is no reason not to get to work gathering as much background information as you can. If there are statistics that back up your thesis, or charts and graphs that will back up your assertions, get them together and use them. Don’t simply rely on internet searches to get you through; you may be able to interview an expert or find your facts in some other ways.
Once you have all the information you are going to present, you can start to arrange it in a way that will prove interesting to your audience. Keep in mind that all the best stories don’t necessarily start at the beginning. If there is an especially compelling aspect to what it is you are trying to get across (such as a human interest angle) start there and work outward. That way, you can grab your audience from the beginning, and work to hold their interest from there.
If at all possible, try and visit the room you are going to be speaking in beforehand, to get a feel for the audience size and layout, as well as what technology will be available to you.. As corny as it sounds, go ahead and visualize yourself succeeding mightily in your presentation.
Get Your Materials Together:
One of the greatest things to happen to the business presentation world in has been the advent of PowerPoint. But this great presentation software has wasted no time in becoming totally ubiquitous. People are so used to this type of slide presentation that it can be a blessing and a curse. If you are going to use PowerPoint, use it well, and use it judiciously.
You will also want to consider having tangible materials such as booklets that you can allow your audience to take with them. Bind these materials together in a way that is both attractive and functional, such as spiral coil or twin loop wire. The machines that do this kind of binding work are inexpensive and easy to use, so if your office doesn’t already have one, you should look into making a purchase.