Christmas Presentation Tips
Towards the end of each year, you may be asked to give a presentation, such as an end of year review, targets for the next year etc., to your team, senior management or perhaps a client. Or, perhaps during Christmas you might be called upon to give a speech at a family celebration.
This year may be slightly different, in that you may have to do this virtually, via a webcam, instead of in a room full of people! Rather than panic about this, draw on your presentation skills previously learned and adapt them to fit the virtual world.
Here are some light-hearted quirky Christmas Presentation tips (using the acronym Christmas) to help!
C is for CEO
Have you ever noticed that most CEOs tend to stand tall and command a room? They exude confidence and have a presence about them. Even if they are sitting, they tend to sit up, rather than slouch.
There is no reason why you can’t do that too! You don’t have to be a CEO to look and sound more confident.
You may think it’s impossible because you are presenting virtually, but you can still have that CEO aura around you – even when presenting sitting down. However, some people feel they have more of a presence when standing. If this applies to you, why not consider standing up when speaking to your webcam? This can bring an energy to your stance, and you could well find yourself using natural gestures more often.
Regardless of whether you stand or sit. Stretch your spine, be as tall as you can, take a deep breath and pause. It will help make you look and feel more confident.
H is for Happy!
Look happy to be with your audience – and not just because it’s the season to be jolly!
You are more likely to build a rapport with the audience if they can see that you want to be there presenting to them.
I think we all agree that is is more difficult to connect with your audience when presenting virtually. Therefore, it is even more important to engage with them in an upbeat manner. Remember that congruency is key to maintaining that connection. Your facial expression must match your content. For example, if you delivering good news, then look happy! If, on the other hand, your message is more serious in nature, then it is probably best to tone down the ‘happy vibes’ and also vary your vocal pitch accordingly.
R is for Reduce
Reduce your content to increase your impact.
Most people have too much content in their presentations.
If you reduce your content it is a win-win situation. You win, because you have less to remember, your audience wins because they have less content to try to absorb. Save your additional material for the questions and answers.
This point is even more important when presenting virtually. Not only is the attention span of your audience around 10 minutes, but you also will be competing with other distractions e.g. emails, phone, online games, online shopping and possibly even the odd pet or child rambling in for a cuddle!
Keep your content to a minimum, reduce the amount of text-based slides, ditch the bullet points, and your audience will thank you for it!
I is for Include
Include your audience as much as you can.
Try asking questions to get them involved, use analogies that resonate with them and if at all possible have them contribute. If it’s a virtual presentation, make use of the features found in the software to help make it a bit more interactive – polls, chat, whiteboards, breakout rooms, are a few examples – if nothing else, it keeps them awake!
S is for Squeeze
Squeeze your buttocks – if you are feeling nervous it is a great way to do something useful with the adrenalin.
The 3 main benefits of doing this are 1) it can bring a smile to your face because it is a bit wacky! 2) it is great for your glutes, aka gluteus maximus 3) most importantly, it takes your mind off the nerves. And a bonus is that it doesn’t matter if you are presenting in-person to a room full of people, or if you are in front of your webcam presenting to a faceless audience. Try it – it definitely works!
T is for Talk
Talk nicely to yourself before your presentation. Clients participating in our company presentations training courses, often tell us how they feel about their presentation skills. “I’m just no good at presenting … I always forget something … I feel I am not coming across as myself”.
Stop talking to yourself in a negative way – talk nicely to yourself – you will be amazed at the difference a change of mindset can make!
M is for Mantra
Following from our previous point – find a positive mantra to get yourself in the right frame of mind. Use positive language. It might be something as simple as “I am ready for this and it is going to go really well”. Or you could use the Muhammad Ali one … “I AM the greatest”. Or a mantra that puts things in context … “it’s only a presentation, not brain surgery”.
It really doesn’t matter what you say so long as it works for YOU.
A is for Audience
They are the most important people in the room, or on-screen.
You are speaking to get an action or reaction from them. Keep this in mind at every step as you prepare and deliver your presentation. Make sure you research who your audience is before you create your presentation. Your message should be clear and concise, and your presentation should address the needs of the audience.
S is for Smile – wherever appropriate
Apart from the fact that it is the cheapest way to improve your looks, smiling has numerous benefits.
These include, lowering your heart rate, releasing endorphins, creating a connection with your audience and last, but not least, it makes you look more confident regardless of how you feel inside.
A word of warning though – don’t keep a smile plastered on your face all the way through your presentation as it can look fake.
Smile at the start of your presentation to help them warm to you, smile at the end and anywhere else where appropriate. As Mark Twain said “Never regret anything that made you smile”. Keep smiling, chances are, you won’t regret it!