8 Things To Do Before Giving a Presentation

always-arrive-early-to-give-a-presentation-so-you-can-test-the-equipment-and-make-sure-your-technology-worksHave a presentation to give? Big pitch to a client? Asking for a raise? Sharing your work with a thousand of your colleagues? Here are eight tips I’ve learned to help it go smoother. Try them out and see if they help you.

  1. Be early – If you have a meeting, be 15 minutes early.  If you are giving  presentation, make it twenty. This makes sure you compensate for small delays, like finding the meeting spot or checking your technology.
  2. Stretch – so important – always stretch before a presentation.  This will relax you mind, body, and spirit so you can handle business as cool as a cucumber.  If you don’t know how to stretch, then look up a youtube video for yoga for focus.  Pick one that’s anywhere from 15 minutes long to an hour, depending on how much time you have.  Anything less than 15 minutes is cheating yourself.
  3. Go over your presentation – meditate on it.  Practice it in a corner or in front of a mirror.  Get feedback on your practice runs.  Creative Director, Jen Lemerand, stresses the importance of practicing your presentation. “It’s always apparent who practices and who does not.”  Time it.  You don’t want to be talking peoples’ ears off.  They have things to do.  Even if they’re interested, leave them craving more.
  4. Get a drink of water – you don’t want to be licking your lips constantly while standing up in front of people.  It looks creepy.  Nerves will do this, but not hydrating will make it worse.  In fact, just bring your own sippy cup and fill it at the fountain.  Stop buying all those wasteful plastic bottles!
  5. Level out your blood sugar – have a snack before hand.  A decent healthy snack.  Not a damn Snickers bar.  You don’t want to have a blood sugar crash while standing there talking about business.  Nothing grandiose as a meal, but a half of a sandwich or some hummus and pita.  Just watch the garlic.  Do you really want to have the dragon when fielding questions from clients up close and personal?
  6. Look at yourself in the mirror – is your collar turned out?  Shirt tucked in?  The hair brushed?  Spinach out of your teeth?
  7. Take a leak – Always bet on the horse that uses the bathroom right before the race.  You don’t want to be crossing your legs while trying to focus on your subject matter.  You’ll be too distracted to give a 100% to your delivery.
  8. Test your equipment – This is why you want to be 15-20 minutes early for a presentation.  You want to make sure your equipment is compatible with the presentation room’s equipment. You want to make sure your files are going to display and the sound is working. Test before all the stakeholders are in the room.  It really sucks trying to troubleshoot a problem when the room is filled with people waiting to see what you have prepared for them.  I can never really focus my mind on the problem while all those eyes are on me.  Better to bang it out before hand.  And you know what?  I’ve seen some of the best not test their equipment beforehand, so I’m sharing a tip for you to have an edge.

Now that you’ve read about how to improve your presentation game go out and practice, then let me know how it went on Twitter!