Sunday, April 25, 2010

4 Steps to Start up & Engage in Your Presentations

I apologise for this belated post. I was busy climbing the ever-growing mountain of backlog and balance between work and life with family. As I was preparing my 7 year old son for his Primary One School English Presentation slot, and seeing how queasy and uncomfortable he was, it got me thinking about my yesteryears - how I struggled in the unfamiliar territory in presenting to an audience, no matter how small or big.

Offline presentations provide a huge opportunity for everyone to sell yourself and your products, and not to forget, augments your online social currency as well. And so, here it is my E.E.L.S framework of "4 steps to start up and engage in your presentations".

(1) Energy boost from your nerves
I for one still get the jitters whenever I go up on a stage, an interview or even up for a closed room presentation. Harness the adrenaline from your nerves into positive energy. Take a deep breath and start your presentation with a smile.

(2) Engage with friendlies
There will usually be a friendly in the audience. If you are still nervous, especially if you are pretty jetlagged, exhausted after a long night preparing the presentation or particularly if you are in "hostile" crowd, focus on that friendly in the audience and regain your confidence.

(3) Look out, beyond your audience
Nothing could get more disheartening than to see the participants of your presentation nodding off (into ZZzzz land), chatting amongst themselves or texting away without looking up at you or your presentations. Besides focusing on the friendly in (2), look beyond your audience and think postive.

(4) Tell a Story (and have fun!)
And by far, the game-changer in all presentations, tell a story to engage your audience. Nothing captures attention than a good ol' story, case study to bring your presentation alive. Read more from Brad Shorr's article "5 simple Storytelling Techniques".

This E.E.L.S framework are the basics which I adhere to religiously before my presentations. However, nothing beats the good ol' practice and more practice, especially when it comes to presentations. And so volunteer for every great opportunity which comes your way. Keep in mind the engagement and entertainment aspects in your presentations and communications. Do your presentations well offline, and you would have achieved a great impression on your audience (prospects) and a credible link up (connections) going for you moving forward.

Look forward to hear you share what are the steps you take before and during any of your presentations. I find myself still learning and would love to hear your point of view!

catch you soon,
Nelson Wee
or see you @nelsonwee

Photo credit: jurvetson / / CC BY

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