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#1 Presentations
18/07/2007 13:29


Hi, I've got to give a presentation and I'm VERY nervous!! It will be to 25 people and I'm crapping myself as I'm not really an expert in the subject and expectations are sky high. I've also not prepared as well as I should have. What do I do? Any tips/advice? It's a 30 minute slot. Help!!

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#2 RE: Presentations
18/07/2007 13:52

aNon to Presenter (#1)

Prepare some more?

It is the key you know...

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#3 RE: Presentations
18/07/2007 14:06

Mad Harry to aNon (#2)

Ahhh - the perennial quandary of the young Consultant. Being fielded as part of your baptism of fire to the client.

Unfortunately I have no sympathy at all - although I agree - you did not come here looking for sympathy, more a quick fix. The fact that you are not an expert in the subject means you should have been preparing every spare second you had. Common sense no? OK - so that accomplishes nothing. What you want are answers. So - here we go..... 1) Whatever you say, say it with confidence 2) Look your audience in the eyes 3) If you don't know the subject matter, at least know the slides 4) Speak slowly and clearly 5) Smile

and the best one of all .... number 6...

Prepare in future - and use some common sense

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#4 RE: Presentations
18/07/2007 14:40

Presenter to Mad Harry (#3)

The reason I've not prepared as well as I should have is because for the last week I have had terrible IBS/diarrhoea which has been keeping me awake all night and I've just not been feeling well at all. I've been able to go into work, but have only been functioning at 40%. Nonetheless I'm expected to do this presentation and have gone from literally crapping myself to, well, just crapping myself for other reasons.

I appreciate the tips but any other advice anyone can give me would be really appreciated. Right now I think I need all the help I can get.

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#5 RE: Presentations
18/07/2007 14:43

Tony Restell ( to Presenter (#1)

I can TOTALLY relate to your post. When I started out in consulting I hated the thought of presenting, almost to the point of making me ill. I made sure I got sent on a presentation techniques course within my first weeks on the job and that transformed things for me. From then on I really enjoyed presenting and now love taking to the stage and addressing hundreds at a time - or being grilled in board presentations.

The single biggest thing to come from the training was confidence. We were all filmed in action and when we watched these films back we saw that actually we were pretty good - far better than we'd feared we were. So if you have any way of filming yourself and then watching this back I'd definitely do this. The practice runs will do you good - and seeing that you are much better than you thought will do your confidence the world of good.

As has already been said on this thread, confidence is key. A presenter lacking in confidence invites criticism and challenges from the audience; one who comes across confidently will often sail through unchallenged.

Other things that came from the training: i) make a conscious effort to speak at half the pace you think is appropriate. Almost everyone has the tendency to gabble when presenting, so it requires a conscious effort not to do this. ii) pay attention not to fiddle with things! Everyone on this training course span a pen in their hand, played with the projector remote control, span their wedding ring, etc. It was just a nervous reaction to take the mind off the pressure of the presentation. But it's really obvious and distracting for the audience and draws attention to the fact that you are nervous. So also make sure you do not have anything in your hands whilst presenting.

The last thing we were recommended to do was to try and make lots of eye contact during the presentation with whoever you feel most friendly with - be that a colleague or whichever of the client organisation you're on best terms with. This helps relax you as you feel like you're presenting to a room of friendly faces rather than a room of potential critics.

Hope this helps and best of luck!

Tony Restell

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#6 RE: Presentations
18/07/2007 15:09

Presenter to Tony Restell ( (#5)

Thank you Tony, this is very comforting and useful advice.

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#7 RE: Presentations
18/07/2007 15:39

Village Idiot to Presenter (#6)

Whoa! Too much information. I've only just eaten lunch.

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