Just suggesting a public presentation is enough to send some people into a nervous frenzy. Unfortunately, it’s unavoidable at some point in most people’s jobs. Whether you’re presenting to clients, your boss, or your grand-boss (aka boss’s boss), the most important thing to do is the most obvious: share all the information necessary to get them to make a decision. And, even if nerves aren’t a problem for you, there’s always a chance that you might forget a key piece of information. That’s why we recommend leaving a flashdrive at the scene of the presentation. Not only can you leave a copy of your presentation on it for them, you can include any supporting information that might help make your case.
A flashdrive isn’t the only way to help you nail your next presentation, although it is our favorite. Here are a few other tips from Inc.com on keeping calm, cool and collected in the face of presenting.
Presentation Flashdrive Tips
- Stick to the main points
When speaking to audience, remember that chances are they’ll only retain so much. Keep your slide text to a minimum, and keep your speech relevant to those points. Do your best to speak in general terms to help them understand more easily. If you have more information to share, that’s where the flashdrive comes in.
- Stand up straight and take deep breaths
It’s old advice, but it’s meaningful. When you’re sad, your body droops. When you’re happy, you’re buoyant. By standing straight, with feet parallel, chin lifted, and shoulders back, you’re sending a message of confidence. Take a few seconds prior to speaking to take a few deep breaths, and smile. It endears you to your audience, and builds instant rapport.
- Illustrate your thoughts
Use metaphors and euphemisms like you would use your spice rack. The intent is to enhance the natural flavor; using figures of speech should help to clarify points, not overpower them. These will also help your audience remember the main points of your presentation. Save the figures and technical speak for your flashdrive. If it helps, think of your main points as the headlines of an article. The rest of your talk should be the supporting information that makes the point.
- Create a presentation that’s brief, bright, and flowing
The best stories have surprises or twists along the way. The worst are predictable and boring. In the same sense, your listeners crave variety–especially when they aren’t expecting it. This doesn’t mean you have to come up with M. Night Shyamalan-esque craziness. Just find ways to perk things up, like an unexpected analogy, vocal variety, a joke or two. But don’t extend the presentation to include these things. Brevity is still valued more than humor.
Persuasive & Effective
As Inc.com notes, humans have always made decisions based on the spoken word since the dawn of speech. By supplementing your words with flashdrive materials, you’re not only bringing the 21st century into the room, but giving people an alternate way to absorb your points. And don’t forget; Minnesota’s Sunrise Packaging can hook you up with custom flashdrives to share your contact information on top of your presentation materials.