To many people public presentations can be very stressful events. Luckily, there are many things you can do both before and during your presentation to minimise your stress levels and maximise the success of your presentation.
A first crucial point is to know your audience: There are vast differences between talking to an audience consisting of several dozen journalists or to a group of students. You will want to change your presentation, style and preparation accordingly. In order to facilitate this, it is important to ask several questions to the organiser of the event you will be speaking at. Such questions may include the size and composition of the group, as well as the prior knowledge and general expectations of which.
Now that you have the knowledge you need the next key element is to ensure proper preparation. To effectively communicate your message, you need to be keenly aware of what your main objective is, and what your specific key messages are. Key messages are best kept limited to about three or four to not dilute your presentation too much and to allow you to remain focused. It is also worthwhile to spend some time thinking about how to introduce yourself and think about how to make a link between your experience, the topic and the audience during your introduction.
With all the preparation done, the final moment of your actual public presentation is now dawning. You will also want to manage your stress levels on D-Day itself. An important first thing to realise is that contrary to what people often tell themselves, nobody in the audience wants you to fail. If you remember to keep on breathing and to keep your feet on the ground, things will go a lot smoother than you can imagine. Another helpful tip is to establish a connection with the audience in the early stages of your presentation, for example by actively asking questions to the audience, can be a great way. If you keep these simple tips into account, your presentation itself should also be smooth sailing.
Knowing your audience and ensuring proper preparation will allow you to manage your stress levels
Who is Jean-François?
Jean-François Bertholet founded AIM & Associés in 2000. He supports participants’ intercultural competencies with the topic at stake and the organisational culture of the context they live in. He delivers the Oral Communication at the European School of Administration, as well as Client Friendliness and Induction Training courses for the European Institutions, agencies and bodies.