Giving Presentations

Written by Jeremy Horelick
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It's a widely reported (and true) fact that giving presentations or public speaking outranks death on most people's lists of greatest fears. Even the most articulate speakers and precise thinkers can be reduced to fidgety and unintelligible messes once an audience is put before them. All of a sudden, the threat of public humiliation is within arm's reach, which is often enough to help bring those fears to fruition.

On top of that, many people fear giving presentations because their job security may ride on the results. If a sales person or manager is unsuccessful in converting leads to clients or retaining the customers already on board, it can mean that employee's ouster. Many times, a prospect's decision to buy or pass is directly related to the strength of a pitch, a PowerPoint presentation, a slide show, or a hands-on demonstration.

How To Succeed at Giving Presentations

If you're not exactly Abraham Lincoln when you're confronted with a boardroom full of stockholders, take heart--neither are most of your peers. While you're limited in some ways by the product you're selling or the economic realities of the market, you are free to creatively repurpose those facts to give them a better spin. Giving presentations is, like most forms of writing, all about the manner in which you deliver the information. Here, there are several things you can do to help yourself.

Public speaking pros frequently mention "visualization," or envisioning yourself in the actual time and place of your speech or presentation. By picturing yourself giving a rousing, funny, poignant demonstration, you subconsciously tell your brain what to expect when it comes time for the real deal. Any good book, CD, or DVD will be able to furnish you with other tricks for giving presentations, from improving your writing to speaking with confidence.

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