So you are prepared with your presentation. You presented it to your closest one and discussed a little more. Now as a result, your PPT has graphs; objective-slide; animated slide transitions and a special thank you slide!
You reach the venue, quickly set up the gadgets, check the room-temperature and worry a little about the number of chairs – spat, done that too.
AT sharp 10 am people start flooding in, a few get late, you feel demoralized – energy meter 95% – but by 10.15 am all in. Forty eyes on you. Your ‘just a five minute introduction’ about the agenda and yourself is well-rehearsed. But then you notice a few eye-twitches with a yawn towards extreme right – energy meter 90%. With a gracious concern you ask “is that understood?” – some nods – energy meter 88%. You tell them that the next slide is extremely important, you read it, they listen, you ask do you have questions; they scan each other and then you get the spot-light again – energy meter – ok now you get the point.
First of all, realize – ‘the illusion of confidence is that it is constant’ – i.e. no matter how well researched your information may be, you got to practice a few techniques:
– Get away from monologues and know where to question the audience. You may start from the very beginning, for example – check their opinion about the agenda.
– Instead of rating a piece of information on your slides, bring better introductions, you can even build a story around it. For example, before introducing the slide, start like – while working, I/we realized that how important is … and then introduce.
– Use images instead of words and make your audience interpret them. Get them thinking.
– Concentrate on people sitting towards the corner too and if it’s a cluster arrangement, walk past everybody, focus on the penultimates along with the ones sitting in the front too.
– Say not always what you know, but always know what you say – Claudius Galenus
And yes, derive binges of encouragement from people who care to smile anyway!