You just got a pat on the back from your boss for that great new idea you came up with last week. Good for you!
Now, he wants you to present your idea at a senior management meeting… and your palms are already starting to sweat. You hate speaking in front of a group. In fact, you are petrified of it.
What can you do?
There are a number of things you can do to help you relax and deliver a good presentation, but before you go any further, there is one critical step that will virtually guarantee success.
This task can be summed up in a single word: “prepare”.
Nothing is beyond your capacity if you prepare well ahead of time… nothing!
So, sit down with a packet of 3×5 cards, or in front of your PC, and start making notes about what you want to say about your topic.
Write down every possible point you want to make. Do not discard anything… yet.
When this is done, start rearranging the cards or notes (cut and paste on your computer), thinking about what order they can be most easily presented in. This is what makes using cards so great.
As you do this, you will discover that a number of your notes overlap, or mean the same thing… pitch the duplicates, and keep going.
Once you are done with this, pick up the pack of cards, and read them word for word, preferably out loud, while timing yourself. This will help you figure out how much ground you can cover in the allotted time.
After that, it is just a matter of paring down your thoughts further, polishing up a few things, and you are ready to go!
With this little exercise in preparation, you will be able to stand in front of those directors and vice-presidents, confident that your presentation will be clear and logical.
I would wish you good luck, but you will not need it… you are ready!