November Tip: Getting Comfortable with Making Presentations

You may hate it – it may give you the nerves for weeks ahead – but giving presentations in some form will no doubt be part of your future work requirements.

Being comfortable with public speaking is a must in today’s changing world of work. Either way – as a professional working for someone else or in business for yourself – you will be asked over and over to give various kinds of presentations. So even if you are a bit nervous you will find that the more you ask questions about your audience and let that guide your preparations the more comfortable you will feel. You know then that you are providing them with what they want.

Here’s an excellent way to start . . . know what’s important to your audience As soon as they sit down they are asking themselves “What’s In It For Me?”. Experienced presenters call this the WIIFM radio station – the attendees are listening to that radio station to see if your presentation is going to be helpful to them in meeting their own goals. Be clear why what you are saying is important to them and once that question is answered the rest is easy.

Here are five check points work for any size group (teams, committees, departments, conferences, workshops) and for any reason for the presentation.

  • Who is your audience? (know the numbers, ages, positions etc.)
  • What does your audience want to take away? (i.e. “What’s In It For Me?”)
  • Where is the presentation? (all logistics, location, timing, technology etc.)
  • Why does your audience care about this topic? (what do they already know about it)
  • How are you going to “give it so they get it”?
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