White knuckles. Knobby knees. Sweaty palms (and various other parts).
If this is you just before a presentation, you're not alone. Fear of public speaking looms larger than the fear of even death for many. So should you just write off ever delivering a powerful presentation?
Friend and fellow Indianapolis business woman, Jennifer Zinn, shared key tips for delivering a stellar presentation earlier this month at an Indy Chamber Women in Business event. Zinn, Vice President of Strategic Affairs for Roche Diagnostics North America, knows all about stage presence in more ways than one. Zinn speaks regularly to audiences big and small on topics ranging from healthcare to business strategy to diagnostics. But this dynamic female began her stage days singing opera in college. Most of us can't imagine any stage performance more demanding - or nerve-racking than that.
Over 150 area business leaders gathered on August 5 to hear Zinn's insights on delivering a powerful presentation. We've recapped some of her key takeaways just for you:
- Be yourself. Don't be a robot - be authentic! Avoid reading PowerPoint slides or notes word for word.
- Practice. Test your presentation in front of people you trust first.
- Videotape it and watch yourself in action.
- Appearance matters. Be mindful of your attire and your posture, too.
- Relax your shoulders and breathe!
- Simple is better. Less is almost always more, especially when it comes to presentations. Ask yourself: Would kids get this?
Jennifer Zinn nailed her presentation. And you can too. It might not happen overnight, but if you take these tips to heart and keep practicing, you'll get there.