Estimated reading time: 2 mins
If you have a presentation or a proposal to share, then you will want to make sure it’s polished and practiced to perfection. You may have only One Chance to make a great impression! So here are four things I do every time a presentation is approaching.
The Four Ps of Presentations:
- Prepare: I don’t need a word-by-word script; I do need to have a well-prepared presentation. My presentation is a story – it must have a start, beginning and an end, as well as having a purpose. I plan out the structure first, and ensure I work back from the ultimate goal, so that everything in the presentation leads up to that.
- Practice: I need to practice. And practice. And practice. And practice. (Practice until it hurts!) You know, the most ardent and experience presenters still practice. It’s why they’re so good at it! I don’t practice until I know every word I want to say (in fact this is something I avoid so the presentation doesn’t sound too staged) But I make sure that I read my presentations out loud a number of times to develop effective inflections in my voice and a good rhythm.
- Pronounce: To get my points across effectively, I need to speak very clearly. This can make or break my presentations. If I mumble or stutter (normally brought on because I am not well prepared or practiced) then I’ll lose the interest of my audience. I project my voice, speak slower (than in normal conversation) and fully pronounce every letter of every word.
- Participate: The more I engage my audience, the more my presentation is memorable, and more to the point, the less I feel nervous. Participation has a remarkable impact; it helps my audience become part of the presentation and it also removes the invisible barrier between myself and the audience, so it feels less like a performance and more like a discussion.
I could add a fifth one – Planning, which is also crucial for me. When I have a presentation coming up, it’s essential that I plan my time to ensure I prepare and practice.
What would be YOUR fifth? If you have another tactic that should be in this list (and it doesn’t have to begin with P!) then leave a comment below and share your thoughts!
Good Luck in your own presentations!