Studies have shown that standing in front of an audience and presenting can be one of the most nerve racking things we can do. As a trainer we sometimes get nervous, especially when we are training a topic we don’t know much about or haven’t trained for a long time. So, here are some tips on how to be a good presenter and help calm those nerves.
Practice, Practice, Practice – Practice your presentation and practice what you want to say. Part of our fear comes from us thinking we will forget what we want to say. Practicing helps eliminate that fear.
Scan the audience – Look over the audience when you talk. Looking at the audience makes them look back and gives you the feeling they are paying attention which will make you feel less nervous.
Talk to the audience, not at them – Don’t just talk to your audience, have a conversation with them. This makes them more relaxed as well as you and can help the presentation move more smoothly.
Make them laugh – Making your audience laugh can make them more alert and helps them pay more attention to you which in turn makes them more involved in the conversation.
Tell the truth – You can’t possibly have the answer to everything. If you don’t know, don’t lie. Admit you don’t know but let them know you will write their question down and get them an answer to it. Give them a time frame of when you will respond as well. By admitting this, you relieve the stress of trying to know everything and this will make you more relaxed when presenting.
Work the floor – Don’t stand in one place. Move around the floor and use hand gestures as well as fluctuation in your voice. This moving around helps to improve your interaction with the audience making everyone more comfortable.
Do something different – Differentiating yourself from other presenters will help you stand out more and make it more likely that your audience will remember you and enjoy your presentation more.