An effective presentation is now a vital aspect of professional and business life. Generally, a presentation can be grouped into one of the three categories:
1. Informational Presentation
An information-driven presentation is delivered to inform and update customers or business stakeholders.
2. Pedagogical Presentation
A learning-oriented presentation is conducted to teach and improve the knowledge and skills of participants in the business.
3. Persuasive Presentation
A motivation-driven presentation is arranged to enhance the executional vigor or cooperative feelings among participants or business members.
Whatever the kind of presentation, you need a positive, focused and confident mindset and poised behavior to give an effective presentation. There is a three steps roadmap for giving an effective presentation: Thought Awareness, Rational Limitation, and Self Suggestions.
If you have a business presentation to give or want to enhance your presentation skills overall, you can learn useful tips from these steps.
Let’s discuss each in turn.
Step 1: Thought Awareness
You might experience some typical negative thoughts before or during the presentation:
• You might experience performance anxiety or stage fright,
• You might fear for some technical problems that may come up during the presentation,
• You might worry about the reaction or criticism of peers, general audience, or business stakeholders,
• You might doubt the real strengths and potential opportunities lying ahead in your professional life,
• You might unknowingly imagine some messed-up consequences of poor performance,
• You might criticize yourself over “less than perfect” preparation, rehearsal and practice,
• You might experience frustration or anger on certain real inadequacies or deficiencies.
These negative thoughts can disturb your focus before and during the presentation. As a result, these negativity traps can damage your confidence, harm performance, paralyze mental skills, and radiate negativity to the audience or business stakeholders.
Step 2: Rational Limitations
Now you have to challenge these negative thoughts and counter them with rationality and wisdom. Looking at some examples, the following challenges can be made to these common negative thoughts:
Quality of Performance
Have you gathered the information you need and prepared it properly for the presentation? Have you conducted a reasonable number of rehearsals, real or mental? If so, you’ve done as much as you can to give a good performance. There should be no room for any doubt or anxiety.
Technical Problems & Issues Outside Your Control
It is a hard fact that you cannot control all the relevant factors during your business presentation that may create a distraction. You cannot control traffic jams, airline delays, power shutdown, computer network outage, and communication problems due to damaged equipment.
What you can control is your own behavior or your professional response to these unexpected problems. In addition, it is important that you consider the possible risks and take the necessary steps to moderate their effects during the presentation.
Fear of Harsh Criticism & People’s Reaction:
If you perform the best you can, then you have given a good presentation. Fair people are likely to respond well to good presentations. If you notice that the people are not being fair, then the best thing to do is rise above any unfair comments and react professionally. This will turn the unfair comments in your favor.
Problems During Practice
The purpose of practice is to identify problems so that they will not be repeated during the presentation. If some of your practices were “less than perfect”, then ask yourself whether it is reasonable to expect perfect performance. All that is important is to give an effective and lucrative business presentation, not a perfect one.
Step 3: Self Suggestions
Hopefully, by now you are more positive, focused and confident. The final step for an effective presentation is to prepare self-suggestions. They help you counter any remaining negativity or divergence. As a result, you’re able to present yourself in a poised manner.
A few positive self-affirmations are:
Quality of Performance
“I have prepared well and have rehearsed thoroughly. I am ready to deliver an excellent business presentation.”
Problems of Distraction & Issues Outside Your Control
“I have thought of everything that might reasonably happen and have planned wisely how I can handle all likely contingencies. I am well equipped to react flexibly and firmly to any unexpected situation.”
Fear of People’s Reaction & Criticism
“Fair people will react reasonably to a well-prepared performance. I will rise above any unfair criticism in a mature and professional way.”