Becoming more confident while giving presentations at work is an ongoing process. You can learn new skills, get coaching, integrate technology, and consult with your team or supervisor, but it will still take time to gain confidence in utilizing your new skills and resources. Too often, people fall back on the idea that they’ve always lacked confidence giving presentations going back to grade school. While that may be true, it is never too late to gain that confidence and change how you approach presentations.
At its core, this lack of confidence comes from the fear of making a mistake and being judged by those watching your presentation. Work presentations include a combination of soft skills, technical skills, communication skills, critical thinking, and specific skills related to problem-solving during the presentation.
Fortunately, these soft and hard skills alike can be improved through employee training, certifications, and other efforts. Here are three things you can do to gain more confidence when giving presentations at work.
Learn how to give a presentation.
This tip may seem overly simple, but you may not even be aware of the specific skills involved in giving a great presentation. There are many presentation companies that offer staff skills training through training videos that can provide soft skills training, public speaking training, and training specific to how to give an effective work presentation. Seeking additional training to bridge this skill gap is not a sign of weakness or ineptitude. Instead, it is a positive strength that you are willing to recognize your weaknesses and find ways to strengthen them. In addition, these training videos can provide practical tips to help you engage more fully with your audience while presenting the information you are straightforward and understandable. You may even find that these skills transform your personal communications, too, giving you greater confidence in everyday conversation.
For some, the lack of confidence comes from a specific problem they experience that makes them self-conscious, such as a stutter or speech disorder. For example, verboso.com is an excellent resource for people with communication or language problems. Although ideally, communication issues are corrected as children through speech therapy, it is never too late for an adult to seek help with a speech issue that may make them self-conscious.
Get comfortable with technology.
Typing out the information onto PowerPoint slides and then reading them will not be a good or memorable presentation. Yet, this is often what happens because people don’t realize all they can do with technology. Take a PowerPoint class or watch videos online to learn how much you can really do with the program. Take the same approach with Google Slides or whatever presentation program your work uses or you choose to use. Don’t be afraid to get into the more unique features to add interest and excitement to your presentation.
Also, remember technology should be an aid to the presentation, not the whole thing. If all of the information is in the slides, there is no reason to be there. You can just put on a slide show and head to the bathroom. Practice your presentation in the mirror at home, in your car while driving, and in front of friends or family. The more time you go through the entire presentation, the more comfortable you will be when it is time to present it at work. Practice being humorous during the presentation, so it feels organic when you do it. Finally, be prepared to answer questions. Memorizing the information in the presentation is great, but if your focus is narrow and you can’t answer questions, it won’t be that informative.
You may also like: How to Make Your Business PowerPoint Presentation More Effective Than Ever!
Image source: Unsplash.com