Own the room - how to present with confidence
You know that you're good at your job. You can make difficult decisions, work with a diverse range of people, and your written skills are well-honed. So why do so many of us still struggle to present our ideas to an audience?
Strong presenting skills are essential in today's market, whether that's pitching to a client or impressing your own colleagues and seniors. Here are some of our top tips to help you feel relaxed and confident the next time you need to deliver a powerful presentation.
1/ Embrace your nerves
Feeling nervous isn't necessarily a bad thing. If you feel anxious, you might feel your heart rate go up, and your adrenaline kick in. This can actually elevate your performance if you re-frame this reaction in your mind and treat this as an exciting opportunity.
Focus on the positive aspects of the experience and let that adrenaline boost sharpen your performance by giving you the energy to help you present in an exciting and passionate way.
2) Believe in yourself
It might sound like a meaningless motivational quote, but before you step up to present, always remember that the audience believes in you. They believe you are the expert and they are looking forward to hearing you speak, so you deserve to believe in yourself too.
3) Timing is everything
Whilst you prepare, make sure you know how long you're required to speak for. Whether you make detailed notes or flashcards will depend on your own style and preferences. Whatever you choose, make sure that you practice. This will give you confidence on stage.
4) Prior planning prevents panic
If you are speaking at a venue you don't know, leave plenty of time to get there. The last thing you need is to arrive flustered and rushed. This will also give you plenty of time to find the toilets and have a final read of any notes that you've made.
5) Stand proud
Adopting a powerful pose on stage is one of the easiest ways to feel confident and in control. Try to avoid sitting down to present, as it is passive and harder to have an impact on the room.
6) Make yourself comfortable
Get yourself a glass of room temperature water to take a sip of on stage. Coldwater can shock your vocal cords and won't necessarily soothe a dry throat - so tepid is better!
The final point is the easiest, and probably the most powerful. Relax, and smile at the audience. Seeing some reassuring smiles back will help you feel confident when you kick off.