The Art of Presenting

 After hundreds of times going in front of a group, whether small or large, I seem to always get an intense amount of stage fright overwhelm me at the very thought of a presentation.  My normally calm, outgoing self always seems to be lost amongst the faces staring back at me.  Thus, you could only imagine my excitement when I stumbled upon an article entitled “Advice for conference presenters: Be like Steve.”  It explains everything one needs to know about how not to lose yourself when you conduct a presentation, and logically enough, uses Steve Jobs as a positive example of a phenomenol presenter who remains calm and collected in each presentation.  While nerves and anxiety can get the best of anyone, by remembering some simple tips, anyone can master the art of performing in an individualized way.

Some notable things that I would like to mention from the article were to practice. Yes, it may seem quite obvious, however, you’d be surprised by how helpful it can actually be to over prepare yourself.  Also, one thing I found to be quite interesting is to save the best for last.  While many people find themselves bored by the end of presentations, having a little extra surprise at the end helps to draw the audience back in and makes a lasting impression. “Sell the benefit” was another important point the author made.  This means to always ask yourself, who cares? why is it important?

Thus, the next time you find yourself at the front of the room, remember these few simple steps and you will be a hit!

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8 Responses to The Art of Presenting

  1. brittz87 says:

    For me, presenting is never an easy task. No matter how much I talk myself into feeling confident about my subject matter, my nerves always seem to get the best of me. I thought that this article had a great take on presenting–something that is a topic that most people would rather not talk about. Presentations can sometimes be a bore to sit through. If the speaker has a creative delivery then this can spice up any subject. Being able to clearly state what you want your listeners to gain from you presentation, multiple times if possible, makes the presentation worth while. I thought the “And One More Thing” part of the article was the overall best advice given. Having something for the listeners to look forward to (besides the end of your presentation) will surprise them, leave them motivated and have them feeling like their 15+ minutes weren’t spent in vain.

  2. wackyzachy47 says:

    I have no problem interacting with people…when I am NOT up on a pedestal. At that point, if I want to do really well, I have to over-prepare, as your post and the blog you referenced stated. However, at times I sometimes feel like I over-prepare and then get even more stressed out. I think there is a balance that needs to be achieved. As brittz87 said, you want to be creative and spice up your presentation, but at the same time, you do not want to go overboard…this is a very difficult task at times and this is where I find myself getting stressed out and flustered. I also found the “And One More Thing” to be the best insight to be given. Now I just need to take what was talked about and try to apply it and hopefully help me with the presentation at the end of the semester.

  3. lindsaylynch says:

    I am terrible at presenting. I always want to get too ahead of myself during the presentation. I realize that I have a lot to say in my presentation and I want to make sure I get everything out so I lose track of what the main importance/purpose of my presentation is. It is very important to prepare for your presentations although sometimes I feel if I just wing it sometimes it will be better because I won’t be as flustered. Thing is, if there are ways to be like Steve Jobs I am going to jump on that train because he is simply amazing.

  4. mekelly1 says:

    I am horrible at presentations. I start talking way too fast and the audience can’t absorb any of the information I’m presenting. So my presentation lacks personality. I never have a compelling ending, it’s always just a summary of the presentation. I like that tip though and I think I’m going to use it in the future. When I make presentations I need to focus on what people would like to hear and get out of the presentation, rather than just what information I need to present. And the information that I need to get across to audience members needs to be in a compelling and interesting manner. Hopefully I will use the tips incorporated in the article for our end presentation, good find!

  5. cclark2 says:

    I would say I fit into the category of being horrible at presentations as well. I once read an article based on a poll that said people fear public speaking more than they do death.
    I think this post touched on something really valuable in public speaking to ask yourself why is this important and who would care. It is important when developing your presentation that you put yourself in the audiences shoes. Try to think what they would be interested in and how would they best receive this information? How are they going to respond to the information given and the way it was presented. If you think it is boring yourself, chances are the audience will be bored out of their minds.

  6. knish21087 says:

    I think that being prepared for a presentation is overwhelmingly the most important thing that needs to be done by the speaker. Once you are in front of the audience the material is the last thing on your mind. Anxiety kicks in along with the second-guessing of your ability to speak. Every time I have had to give a speech or a presentation the biggest thing I make sure to do is to be completely knowledgeable on the topic. You could give the most amazing speech of your life, but if you are stumped when people are asking you to expand on the topic or answer particular question then that entire speech goes down the drain. It is also important to practice in front of the mirror. There are so many little quirks that everyone has while speaking that they don’t even notice. I personally put my hands on my hips and play with my hair. I never even realized this until I watched myself on camera. It really takes many components to put together the best presentation.

  7. amyfoley1975 says:

    For me presentations do not seem to bother me. I took drama in high school so standing up in front of people do not bother me. I also try to memorize the key points of my speech so that I know what to talk about. The only thing that I seem to have trouble with is when people ask questions that I did not prepare for in advance. It always seems to throw me off a bit. And that is where the ums and uhs come in to play. I think that suggesting practice is good advice as well as focusing on the material rather than your audience. If you act like you know what you are talking about then the audience will follow along with you and listen. As soon as they see you stumble then they will lose interest.

  8. bkranz says:

    I definitely feel your pain. I consider myself outgoing and a people-person, but put me in front of a crowd by myself and those qualities most likely go out the window. It’s helpful to hear other people’s insight on presenting skills, especially when they are using such an influential presenter, Steve Jobs. I would never think to save the best for last in a presentation but now that it’s been mentioned, it’s an interesting idea. I would normally think to start with something enticing and elaborate on it throughout, but ending with the best part about it makes more sense. Presentation skills are things that many people, including myself, are very self-conscious about and hearing helpful steps like these are encouraging.

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