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How preparation can help you to stop hating presentations

In the competitive world of business, nailing down the knack for sharing ideas effectively is key for female business owners. Whether you’re sharing winning strategies with your clients or sparking lively conversations with your audience, presentations have been the trusty go-to.

But lately, it feels like there’s been some question around whether the classic presentations are still hitting the mark - are we starting to wonder if there’s a better way to get the message across in today’s fast-paced world? Or is this simply an excuse to get out of doing something you hate?

Here at Bold Moves Coaching, you might know that we believe in the power of a killer presentation to connect with your audience and make a lasting impact. So, in the spirit of being bold, it’s time to dive deep into this topic and how putting the effort into preparing your presentations will help you stop hating and start enjoying presentations. Yes I am serious - trust me!

Why do we hate presentations?

Have you ever been in one of those seminars or training courses where it feels totally irrelevant and you wonder what you’re doing there?

You start off full of hope and anticipation, waiting to be inspired - but the message falls flat, you switch off - mentally preparing for tonight’s tea! What a complete waste of your precious time.

Yet the person presenting probably spent weeks preparing and losing sleep over this.

What went wrong?

Common challenges when presenting

There are three most common reasons people switch off during a presentation:

  1. Design - ever heard of death by PowerPoint? This comes from poorly designed slides usually created by someone who hasn’t been given any presentations training. If your slides aren’t visually appealing it can be a distraction for your audience. Especially if you’re relying too much on your presentation and putting everything you’re going to say on the slide - you might as well not be there!

  2. Content - when it comes to content less is more. This seems alien to most people because you want to wow your audience with your knowledge. But remember your audience have a short attention span and they will usually only retain three points. So keep it concise and make sure your message is meaningful.

  3. Delivery - you can spend hours creating content but if your delivery isn’t up to scratch your audience will not buy it. Practice is vital to ensure you can get your message across with impact. If you’re trying to sell a new idea but you don’t sound like you believe in it your audience won’t trust you.

But, how do you do that?

Well, studies suggest that effective presentations are:

  • 38% your voice

  • 55% non-verbal communication, and

  • Only 7%, your content.

That means that you should spend even more time preparing your delivery than you do developing awesome content.

Not only will this help you to deliver your presentation, but it’ll also help with any fears or anxiety you have about public speaking.

What is the purpose of an effective presentation?

  1. Connection - helping customers or prospects to get to know you and what you’re about. Remember, people buy people so it’s really important to build that trust with your audience.

  2. Challenge - pushing yourself to speak means you have to dig deep to find the courage to push through that fear. Once you’ve done it your confidence in yourself will soar.

  3. Credibility - it gives you an opportunity to showcase your knowledge and show that you’re an expert in your field. Elevating your voice can really enhance your reputation.

A presentation could be what stands between you and your dream client or winning that big contract. So it’s really important to make an impact.

And, it’ll also boost your confidence!

How does being prepared help with anxiety?

Preparing for a presentation takes a lot of work, right? You've probably been psyching yourself up for weeks, lying awake at night worrying about it and dreading that day finally arriving.

If you start preparing early, as soon as you can, this sends a signal to your brain that you’re taking action and it will help you to stop worrying. Resistance and procrastination breed fear so that’s why you get the sleepless nights.

So don’t put it off, plan ahead and prepare your presentation early then spend some time every day practicing. This will help you to feel super confident on the day.

How do you stop people switching off?

People have a lot going on in their lives

They might be thinking about what’s going on at home

If they’re working from home, they might be distracted by the dogs, kids, deliveries

If they’re sat in a boardroom, they might be distracted by emails and messages popping up on their phones

In this age of constant distraction, it can be hard to capture people’s attention and yes I know this is a huge worry for so many people when it comes to presenting or public speaking. This is where preparation comes in, with proper planning in advance, you can relieve some of those fears and anxieties.

The first two key things that will help you to prepare are:

1 - Knowing your audience

The more you understand your audience and why they are there, the more likely you will make a connection by ensuring your content is relevant. If possible ask the event organiser who is going to be attending, what the audience is interested in learning, and why they are coming to your presentation.

2 - Knowing your subject

If you really know your subject, you can speak with confidence and credibility. You probably have a lot you could talk about but don’t overwhelm your audience with too much information. Keep it simple. What you know isn’t always obvious to other people.

Once you’ve got these 2 things clear, you can really start to prepare.

Whether it’s a pitch to an important client, a talk at your local networking group, or whether you’re a keynote speaker at an event, ask yourself these 6 questions:

  1. Who is your audience?

  2. What is the purpose of your presentation?

  3. Which 3 meaningful messages will you share?

  4. What supporting statistics can you use?

  5. Which story can you use as evidence?

  6. What is your call to action?

Now, you can start to put your presentation together!

Being prepared helps you to feel more comfortable and as a result you’re more relaxed, you can have fun and people see the real you.

Would you like some extra help? I've created a handy Presentation Checklist to help you to plan your presentation and feel confident and relaxed, ready to deliver! Click here to download a free copy

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