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To hate doing presentations?

(120 Posts)
googlenut Fri 08-Mar-13 20:51:42

I hate it so much and because of that it takes hours of my time in preparation because I get so nervous.
Anyone got any top tips or anyone enjoy them and tell me how they get around not being nervous?

googlenut Fri 08-Mar-13 20:52:43

Oh and practised in front of Dh today and he said I sounded unenthusiastic and I soo am about my topic.

I used to hate them too. Giving a presentation that had taken weeks to prepare (during 'free' time at work) to a whole load of people who didn't give a toss.

The more I did them, the less the fear got me.

Strangely, now I enjoy them - although now I am a student and am presenting to my peers.

I think the nerves diminished when I realised that I knew what I was talking about, when I knew how the presentation flowed, and when I knew what sorts of questions I might get.
I try to keep a very slight sense of fun/humour through whatever I'm presenting on, and make sure I start and finish on time.

One tip I heard was to imagine that everyone was naked or in their underwear, but that made me feel worse.

I usually start by looking slightly above and to the left/right of someone's head (random person in the middle of the room), and smile. Then as I ease into the flow, I try to make sure I glance around the room, near enough to people's faces that they think that I'm looking at them.

Good luck!

nellyjelly Fri 08-Mar-13 20:58:37

OK. What do you want to achieve? Think of 3 learning outcomes and focus on them. If using powerpoint, keep it simple. A few slides, with not much on them.

Can you make anything more interactive? Do a little warm up at the start?

Always stand up when presenting, smile alot, use lots of eye contact and don't rush it.

Sorry if you know all this. I train people and so presentations are my bread and butter.

LadyPessaryPam Fri 08-Mar-13 20:58:39

Remember that everyone wants you to be OK and you will be OK. My beef with them is that it takes 5 hours to prepare 1 hours worth of stuff sad

WellSlapMyThighAndCallMeNancy Fri 08-Mar-13 20:59:32

Rescue remedy and beta blockers.

PhyllisDoris Fri 08-Mar-13 21:02:05

If its not too formal an affair, try doing it sitting down. It's not as daunting.

badbride Fri 08-Mar-13 21:06:02

I guess it depends on what is making you feel nervous--can you say what it is?

A lot of nerves can be overcome by good preparation: knowing not only what you plan to say during your talk, but also having anticipated and prepared answers for any questions you get at the end.

If you are well-prepared, but still nervous, my top tip would be "fake it until you make it". By that I mean: adopt the posture, body language and vocal tone of a confident person, even if that person isn't you. Act being confident for long enough, and the mask becomes real, IMO.

I give presentations for a living, and what really helped develop my confidence was taking up dancing and being involved in dance performances. There is a strong element of performance in all presentations--so if you fancy it, try doing something like that--take an acting workshop maybe? (more fun than a presentation workshop!)

badbride Fri 08-Mar-13 21:07:59

oops--no insult to presentation workshops (and nelly's excellent ones in particular) intended smile

I think its hard to sound enthusiastic when you're practising infront of your dh. You will sound much better when it is for real. I practised my presentation this week and sounded really droney. I couldn't have practised in front of dh! I kept going round the house and hiding from him where he couldn't hear to do another run-through! The main thing was, doing run-throughs firstly to check whether I'd got the time length right. Once I was actually there, I didn't sound unenthusiastic because I actually had a real audience that I wanted to tell these things to.

googlenut Fri 08-Mar-13 21:16:35

I'm not a natural performer so feel a bit fake overacting it. When I've done it well it has gone really well but has involved hours of angst and practice. Just wish I could be one of those people who is good speaking on their feet.

googlenut Fri 08-Mar-13 21:18:06

Oh lily that's so reassuring. I did wonder if it was just being in front of Dh as I did 1-1 presentation coaching and they didn't say I sounded unenthusiastic.

WorriedTeenMum Fri 08-Mar-13 21:19:17

LadyPessaryPam I'm afraid that the 5/1 proportion is about right. Much less can end up looking slapdash.

Googlenut some general tips and apologies if you know these already:

- have handouts, people like handouts
- try and do some interactive stuff:
'what problems are you encountering with X/Y/Z?'
'what do you hope to get out of this session?'
Have a flip chart so that you can record answers and also to use as a parking lot for questions which cant be answered immediately
- do a round up at the end to make sure that you have answered any questions or make a commitment to answer them within a stated time frame (and make sure you do)
- keep powerpoints simple and not too wordy. While they are reading the presentation they arent listening to you.
- this type of thing is useful and allows you to move away from your laptop and walk around which is good for nerves and keeps people interested.

Good luck!

LadyPessaryPam Fri 08-Mar-13 21:22:51

Worried that is very good advice.

LadyPessaryPam Fri 08-Mar-13 21:24:30

Must say I have sat through some truly terrible presentations given by pukka salaried professionals so you don't have to do too well to be OK. It's not show biz, you just have to have some interest in the subject, a SOH and keep it as brief as possible.

googlenut Fri 08-Mar-13 21:33:38

It's an academic presentation so not much opportunity for interaction and flip charts. What do people think about rehearsal - can you over rehearse or as many times as possible so it rolls off the tongue?

specialsubject Fri 08-Mar-13 21:36:14

practice.
know what you are talking about. No substitute for that.
maximum 20 words on each slide.
maximum 20 slides.

remember; your audience wants you to do well, they don't want the embarrassment of seeing you fall on your arse. So you and they want the same thing!

LadyPessaryPam Fri 08-Mar-13 21:36:31

Well break the mould. Do something more commercial and unexpected.

googlenut Fri 08-Mar-13 21:46:59

No not appropriate as only have 10 minutes to get across my topic. Bit in a completely different environment and job I did the audience participation and flip charts and it worked a treat so agree suitable in some occasions.

LadyPessaryPam Fri 08-Mar-13 21:50:05

Bummer, if it's only 10 mins then get all the info into slides and deliver efficiently and deadpan. 10 mins they should be able to take it. Makes it easier for you too. x

googlenut Fri 08-Mar-13 21:51:10

And what do you recommend for nerves?

LadyPessaryPam Fri 08-Mar-13 21:51:58

Rescue remedy or vodka.

hermioneweasley Fri 08-Mar-13 21:54:07

Doing lots of presentations will make you more relaxed. Agree with all of those who are saying the audience wants you to do well

Disagree about sitting down - it is a performance and it is your job to entertain and engage them. Embrace this rather than trying to find ways to make a wholly unnatural situation more natural and comfortable.

DearPrudence Fri 08-Mar-13 21:55:55

I love presenting because I am a bit of a show off but I do spend ages preparing.

My main tips would be:

- when writing slides, put the main 'take-home message' in the slide heading. If you get lost, you've always got that reminder.
- don't be afraid to pause. A bit of silence adds impact and gives you time to think.
- make eye contact with one person and hold it for several seconds until you breathe, pause or change slide, then move to another person. You'll have them nodding along with you, guaranteed.
- pretend you're someone else, and act the part of a confident presenter.
- always rehearse out loud, and learn your opening and closing sentence by heart.

BrianButterfield Fri 08-Mar-13 22:02:10

Talk slowly - slower than you think you should!

Make eye contact - scan the room. Look at the bridges of people's noses if you're nervous of eye-contact as they think you're looking into their eyes.

Pause and take a deep breath at each slide change.

Use your hands, don't just stand there like a sack of potatoes!

And thank your lucky stars you're not a teacher doing it for five hours a day to teenagers who don't want to listen wink (that's where I learnt my presenting skills!)

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