Standing in front of people and presenting information and ideas isn’t always easy. Presenting with Confidence trainer Sally Hale shares her top tips for delivering presentations:
One of my first contracts as a newly self-employed trainer was a series of Presentation Skills training courses for Westminster City Council. This was 22 years ago. Since then, I’ve regularly been asked to run similar courses, and have developed a practical training programme structured around a presentation cycle, which is based on the following principles:
- Start with clear objectives and prepare thoroughly with these firmly in mind
- Find an approach that engages with the audience and their expectations
- Practise well to develop confidence and fluency.
Another aspect of my professional life has been in assessing and verifying qualifications – I have observed countless different types and styles of presentation as part of a manager’s or trainer’s portfolio or assignment. I enjoy giving constructive feedback on what works and what could be easily adjusted and improved.
So you might think that all my own presentations would be models of good practice… But just over a year ago I had a bad experience giving a business presentation. It just didn’t work. I was mortified – it had never gone wrong before! But on reflection it gave me the opportunity to recognise what I knew, but hadn’t experienced so directly before:
Defining really clear objectives, focussed on the needs of the audience is the key for an engaging presentation.
The key things to remember in this situation are:
- Be kind and encouraging to yourself when things go wrong
- Learn from your mistakes!
Recently I was invited to give a similar presentation to the same group. Remembering last year’s mishap, I decided this time to be more encouraging and aimed at engaging with the audience more directly. It worked – the presentation finished to a round of applause and some excellent feedback.
So, I am now looking forward to the next one…
Sally is running Presenting with Confidence training on Friday 11 September.