Once you have created and fully rehearsed your presentation, take time to celebrate! Then, wait for it…the butterflies begin circling around and you wonder: am I truly ready to deliver this presentation?
Today let’s explore your preparation strategies, to be sure you will be and feel ready and focused when it is your time to shine.
First things first…
Review your confidence-building strategies and affirmations to remind yourself how great you are, and how well the presentation is going to go. Do you have an affirmation? Now is a great time to repeat it in your head, especially when you begin to feel anxious.
As you get closer to the date of your presentation, check the date, time and venue. Know exactly where you are going, who to ask for when you arrive, and double-check that any requests for special equipment have been made and confirmed. Be sure to have contact phone numbers handy in case of any last-minute questions or issues.
Three or four days ahead of your presentation, check the slides, links and media. It’s a final review, as well as a mini-rehearsal. You might want to print out your slides, three or four to a page, and carry them with you as a handy “rehearse whenever you get a moment” backup.
If you don’t already have one, get a remote slide advancer so you can run the presentation without being glued to the computer. Be sure to practice with it; I once held a remote upside down in my hand and every time I tried to advance, the slides went in reverse. I struggled with it all day! Have fresh batteries at hand, just in case.
Several days before your presentation, pack your briefcase or computer bag. Do this while you are fresh and focused. Cables, chargers, flash drives, slide advancer, and a copy of your slides all belong here, so you don’t scramble at the last minute.
If you are travelling to a remote location for your presentation, pack early and use a checklist so you have everything you need and can be relaxed when it counts. I rarely go to an engagement without having and using my checklist, and the few times I did there was something missing.
The day of your presentation, be sure to get there early. Leave extra time for traffic or getting past security or anything else that could slow you down. Once you arrive, set up your equipment, open and launch your presentation, and then check the chairs, lighting, and temperature. Move around the room, getting comfortable with the space.
Almost ready for show time…
Calm yourself. Take slow, deep breaths, and remind yourself that you are fully prepared and ready to go. Think about the value of the information you are bringing to this audience. Think about the people and how you are going to help them.
Meet and greet. Welcome people as they arrive. Ask a question or two. Connect with your audience and put them at ease. Suddenly the anxiety and the pressure is off.
Smile, you're on. Keep breathing and make plenty eye contact with those who came to hear you. Move closer to the audience members if you can.
This is your moment, one you are thoroughly prepared for. It is your time to shine.