Friday, 21 November 2014

Tips & Tricks for a better presentation

Presentations can be a hell. You have to speak in front of a group of people and that isn't always easy. Usually people get nervous while presenting and that can really take a toll on their performance. So what are the tips and tricks for a better presentation? Please continue reading to find out.

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In the past six high school years I've had to present many times and I've listened to even more presentations. I guess I gained some experience and now I know what are the DO's & DON'Ts for a good presentation. Still, I have to admit, presenting still does make me a bit nervous, but it's definitely less than it was in the beginning. So here are my tips and tricks, I hope they're helpful!

Learn your presentation
If you want to feel more self-confident when standing in front of the classroom, you have to prepare well for your presentation. Make sure you know what you will be talking about and keep practicing it in front of your mirror, under the shower, by presenting it to your parents/siblings/grandparents/uncles/aunts/friends/pets, etc. How much time you'll need to learn your presentation depends on your subject and the amount of time you'll be presenting. I usually start learning my presentation a week before I have to present (so until then I make sure I know exactly what I'll be talking about, I write it out), just to make sure I learn everything. This gives me self-confidence, because this way I know there's only a little chance I'll mess up.

Also, make a powerpoint or a prezi (just don't put too much information in it!). It will make it easier for you to remember what you'll have to talk about and you can use pictures to explain something and make it more clear.

Clothes make the man
When I have a presentation I make sure I look neat. I wear some comfortable, yet still neatly looking clothes and I take more care of my hairstyle and my make-up. I don't want to look like I just came out of the bed, I want to feel good about myself and the way I look like, because that also gives me self-confidence.

It's almost time!
On the day I have to present I start getting nervous. What if I'll fail? To make sure I'm completely ready for my presentation, I wake up on time (but I make sure I had enough sleep) and practice my presentation few more times before leaving. The other very important thing is - be on time! You don't want to be late for your own presentation, because it will really make you just more nervous. I usually enter the classroom earlier, just to make sure I've set everything up so I don't have to stress about that.

It's show time!
My teacher once told the class that it helps if you start your presentation with a joke (if that's appropriate, of course). This way you'll be more at ease and less nervous. My tip #1 is: make your presentation sound interesting. Try to avoid the standard introduction like "Hello everyone, today I'm going to talk about..." and standard ending like "This was my presentation, are there any questions?" and come up with something original, like a joke in the beginning or a future expectation in the end. It's so much more interesting when a presentation is original, you'll see people will pay more attention to your presentation if it's not cliche.

If you are nervous standing in front of all the people, try not to make direct eye contact with them, because that can only make it worse. Instead of making direct eye contact, try looking on your listeners' forehead/just above their eyes - they won't see the difference anyway and you won't lose your focus.

Use your hands and move a bit. This will help you feel more at ease and it looks much better to your listeners, they will think you're not nervous. Maybe even you will starting believing that?

Another very important thing is: if you have a choice, choose a subject you know a lot about or a subject you're interested in. This makes it soooo much easier to learn it and to present it. Try to avoid using the internet too much and think of what you already know about your subject, use your own experience. This way you won't have to learn that much.

And my last tip is: if you're really nervous and you can't do anything about that, try using a mild tranquillizer with valerian herb in it. It might help you to feel less nervous and this way you'll be able to focus of your presentation.

So good luck, you know you can do it!

What are your tips for a good presentation with no anxiety? Please share them in the comments!


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