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Stop Fighting your Presentations: Top 5 Tips for Successful Presenting

a shot from "Fight Club" (1999) scene

We get it, sometimes the presentation making process can feel like you’re in the middle of a Fight Club…yes. That one. Half the battle is just figuring out what you are going to present. So many questions: Where do I start? Is this the latest version of that slide? What if they ask this question? What design do I go with? Preparing for a presentation doesn’t need to feel like a fight. We got you covered with 5 top tips on how to make your presentations painless

Rule Number 1: Prepare. Talk about your presentation (pun intended)

  • Practice like you play, rehearse like you’re on stage, train like you fight and prepare for your presentations. Not much more really needs to be said about that.

Rule Number 2: Know your audience. 

  • This may seem obvious, but always know who you are talking to. 

You:“His name is Robert Paulson!” 

You: “Actually, it’s Shcnayblay”

Also you: “Oh, the name’s Dumhaus!”

Know their interests, their pain points, their role in the company, and…most importantly…what they want to learn from you.

Rule Number 3: Be on time. Establish yourself.

  • “If you’re five minutes early, you’re on time, if you’re on time, you’re late.”No truer words have ever been spoken. Something always goes wrong: Wifi doesn’t connect, dog’s barking, the clicker not working, the projector falls from the ceiling. We could go on and on but just refer to Murphy’s law.
  • You don’t need to pee on the hydrant to establish your dominance or anything of the sort. Just take the time to introduce yourself before you present. Reassure the audience is in the right place.

Rule Number 4: Use the silence.

  • Probably the most underrated element used in presentations. We all want instant gratification from our audience members: A head nod, a subtle head tilt, a bite of the lip, an eye wink or maybe even some tears or some kind of awkward forced laughter…… (pause for laughter) …. The silence only occurs when we aren’t talking. Use that moment to relate with your audience, a moment to connect. 

Rule Number 5: Be ready for anything – Familiarize yourself with your audience.

  • Look, presenters aren’t magicians, no one is expecting you to pull a rabbit out of a hat. This ties back to rule number 1 about knowing your audience. Think of some questions or scenarios that could potentially come up. For example, if you are pitching a new business solution, you should have an idea of who your clients’ competitors are and what may be some alternative solutions to the ones you are presenting.

Your presentation doesn’t have to be a fight. Just remember that you are there to tell your audience a story, and they are there to hear it. 

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