Does the thought of presenting to a large audience give you anxiety? Is this fear lowering your visibility in the industry?
The good news is that with the right preparation and practice, you can overcome any mental blocks, engage your audience, and own that stage.
A few tips to get you started:
- Know your audience
Talk to the organiser prior to the event and get a real sense of your audience profile, and what would serve their interests. This can greatly help shape the content and tone of your presentation.
- Practice makes perfect
Rehearse your presentation on your own, and with a small audience. Hearing yourself speak out aloud will help you gain greater clarity about your content, help you adjust your pace and flow, and manage your time allocation.
- Maintain eye contact
Look at someone at the back of the room and maintain eye contact for a few minutes as you speak. Imagining that you are having a one on one conversation will help calm your nerves.
- Do an AV check
You don’t want a technical error to break the flow of your presentation. Check that the venue meets all of your technical requirements (e.g. availability of projection screens, laptops, audio cables, AC power, WiFi). Show up early at venue and run through your slides with the AV crew.