Whether you work at a Fortune 500 company and are trying to climb that corporate ladder or you’re an entrepreneur trying to drum up investors, at some point you’re going to have a make a presentation to a room full of people, all whom are more successful than you and whose whole purpose is to judge you and your ideas. I realize that for some, speaking in public is terrifying, let alone selling an idea and essentially yourself. However, like many things in life, you have no choice. If you want to reap the rewards you have to pay the price. Here are a few tips to make sure you look like the next Dale Carnegie while doing a presentation.
Exude confidence: This may seem cliché but it’s so essential when doing a presentation. How can you sell an idea if you don’t believe in it yourself? You have to be confident in what you’re saying. Have a passion for it. That passion will come across and the people listening will sense it. It’s easier for them to get excited if you’re excited. You can’t be meek when you’re giving a presentation. How can a guy who’s too shy to give a presentation be a master of the universe?
Dress the part: When it comes to the suit, go all out. Be the best dressed guy in the room. Everybody watching you present knows that you haven’t reached the level of success that they have but being impeccably dressed will make them notice you. They figure that if you take how you look serious, you might take other things seriously as well. Also, if there are any women in the audience, it doesn’t hurt to look good. There’s also the confidence factor. You can’t be truly confident unless you’re happy with the way you look so suit up.
Know your product: Whether you’re selling an idea, a product, whatever, you need to know it like you know the back of your hand. If you’re reading index cards in the waiting room before you go in to present then you’re not ready. PowerPoint, graphs, etc. should be a backdrop to what you’re saying. All they are is a visual aid to support what you already conveyed verbally. And Frankly, I think PowerPoint is just used to annoy the bejesus out of people. Don’t ever try and let the visuals carry you. It’s super transparent; they’ll catch it from a mile away. There’s nothing to hide behind up there so know your stuff, it should be second nature.
Don’t Lie: This may seem obvious but you’d be surprised how many people get caught in tiny lies than end up snowballing and leaving them crushed and dying under an avalanche. You’re always going to be asked a question about the smallest detail. You should know it but if you don’t say you don’t but that you can easily find out. Don’t lie because then you’ll have to lie on the follow up question and it’s all downhill from there. Be honest. Better to look slightly unprepared and kill the rest of the presentation than look like a liar and let it go up in flames.
Article By: Jon DaBove