A meeting conference room can be compared to an arena where two teams meet, where deals are made, and even where hearts and minds are won. But presenting is far from a game, and being a skilled presenter is a life skill that can help you gain confidence and, of course, take your business to new heights. How effective are you as a presenter in building trust between you and your audience, or your prospective clients? If you need help, the following tips of the trade will get you on your way to presenting like a pro!
Start On Time … Finish On Time
One of the most common complaints heard in the workplace is that meetings tend to drag on past their scheduled end time. Has this happened to you? If you are making a presentation, remember that you will gain the trust and appreciation of your audience by starting and ending at the scheduled time. This might seem easier said than done, and sometimes discussions do get out-of-hand in the meeting conference room when your audience digresses from the main topic. As the presenter, how do you bring their focus back? The best phrase I ever heard in a presentation in this case was: “I want to bring back our attention on this topic because I am really excited to talk to you about …”. It worked like a charm for the presenter, and she was able to end the meeting at the scheduled time!
Have an Open Body Language Before You Speak
Whether you are selling a new product or attempting to influence your boss or team members, ensure your body language conveys receptivity and openness with your audience. This means smiling and looking your audience in the eye, and having open gestures geared towards your listeners. Feel free to move around, breathe deeply and not be afraid of silences when they will naturally arise. While it is common practice to suggest presenters “start with a joke”, this might make you feel uncomfortable and nervous. In this case, a genuine smile that conveys the message: “I am happy to be here and working with you”, will do just the trick!
Effectively Using PowerPoint While Speaking
Many presenters, in an effort to stay safe behind the projector and keep the presentation on-track, rely too heavily on their PowerPoint slides. Are you reading directly from the slides while presenting? If so, you may be frustrating your audience who came to your executive office to hear you speak and transmit your knowledge, experience, and opinions, not read words on a screen. Also, many experienced speakers pass on copies of their annotated PowerPoint slides to their audience after their presentation, so that their listeners can focus more intensely on the point the presenter is making, and less on writing notes.
Do YOU have a great tip on how to lead a presentation in a meeting conference room? If so, share it with your fellow presenters today!