Published On: Mon, May 29th, 2017

Setting the Stage for a Successful Presentation

Competition in the business world is tough. You could be looking to sell your talents and skills or product. Or, you could be looking for funding for a brand new enterprise. Know that convincing prospective stakeholders about the viability of your ideas depends on how well you can present them.

According to Forbes, 70% of Americans agree that successful presentations are the key to success of their careers. Preparing a convincing talk, rehearsing it well, and delivering it are no doubt essential components of a great meeting.

However, most people tend to overlook a vital aspect of the presentation – the setting. An inviting room that has a professional, impressive, no-nonsense ambiance is more conducive to the meeting progressing as planned. With a few smart moves, you can lay the groundwork for the success of your presentation even before you actually begin. 

photo/ Gerd Altmann

Familiarize Yourself with the Venue – Set Up the Equipment You Need

Arrive early for the meeting so that you have time to familiarize yourself with the room. Here are some essential preparations you can make for a successful presentation.

  • Look around the room and see if it has adequate light, natural or artificial. If you think the sun might shine directly into the room, make sure there are enough drapes.
  • Set up your paperwork and equipment for easy accessibility. Stack your cue cards in perfect order. Searching and fumbling is a definite no-no.
  • Check your laptop and ready the programs you need for the presentation.
  • You may have to connect your laptop with the audio-visual devices in the room like a projector with screen or, a whiteboard or glass board. Test the wired and wireless equipment to make sure they’re working properly.
  • Depending on the dimensions of the meeting room, you may have a mic placed for your use. Even if you don’t, test the acoustics of the chamber to ensure that your voice reaches all the corners of the room. You need people to be able to hear you properly for the success of your presentation.
  • Check for the placement of the power sockets and ensure your internet connection in operational.
  • See if there is adequate space for you to move around the room to address the attendees individually. This exercise will help you plan your moves.
  • If you have any additional requirements, check with the organizers for their availability.

Introduce Yourself to the Audience Outside the Presentation Room

Having assured yourself that the venue is just how you need it for a successful presentation, step outside and wait for your audience.

  • Being present to welcome the people arriving for the conference is a smart move.
  • Introduce yourself, shake hands, and smile.
  • If you work in the company, a little light banter is a good idea. However, be careful not to mention the topic of the presentation.
  • If you don’t know the attendees well, use this time to connect the people you read about to the actual faces.
  • Even if you meet people you did not know would be coming to the presentation, now is a good time for introductions.

Make Sure You’re Well-Dressed

Choose the right wardrobe for the meeting. Remember, how you dress talks about who you are and making the right impression depends on how you carry yourself. All of these factors can have a bearing on the success of your presentation. With the proper attire and demeanor, you can sell the proposition and have the attendees like you without even getting started.

  • The clothes you have on should be neat and well-ironed.
  • Get them laundered if you have to.
  • As for what to wear, your clothes should be just a little more formal as compared to what your audience is likely to wear. You will look authoritative and credible.

photo TheAndrasBarta Pixabay

Here’s are Some Dos and Don’ts of Your Attire

  1. Be comfortable in your skin – Choose clothes that you like and fit well. If they are too tight or too loose, you’ll find yourself fixing them and fidgeting all the time. And, fidgeting can direct your audience’s attention away from what you’re saying to what you’re doing. The success of your presentation leans on your audience focusing on every word.
  2. Wearing high heels makes you look great. But, remember that if you’re going to be standing for an hour and walking around most of the time, you’re going to tire and perhaps, even stumble. Opt for low-heeled shoes instead. Make sure to polish or clean your shoes properly.
  3. Avoid bright colors – The colors you wear must complement your skin tone and look good on you. But, make sure they’re not too loud with busy prints. Pinstripes in muted colors are perfect. They make you look the part of a professional and ensure the success of your presentation. But, they don’t draw attention away from your words or the PowerPoint presentation you’ve created.
  4. Avoid flashy jewelry – If you can avoid wearing anything at all, that’s the way to go.
  5. Pay attention to the small details – Missing buttons, small stains, loose threads, unruly hair are all a definite no-no. Comb your hair carefully, and ladies should pin it, so they’re not tempted to fix loose tresses every now and then.
  6. Eliminate sweat stains – Many people have the tendency to sweat excessively when they’re nervous. If this is you, check with the experts at the BHRC Botox cosmetic treatments center. They will recommend that you try Botox injections that can help you keep those underarms dry.

Erase Nervousness and Begin with the Presentation

Picture the situation. Your audience is seated and all set to listen to you. You take your place at the head of the table or on the dais. You face them. And, you start to feel a rising panic. Your mouth goes dry, and you feel like you’re going to black out. You might also start to forget what you were going to talk about.

Calm yourself down by taking deep breaths. Give yourself a few minutes get your thoughts in order. Smile at the people you were more familiar with and perhaps, nod at them to build a connection. Try this strategy:

  1. Take off your tie.
  2. Keep your jacket on but undo the top button.
  3. You’ll project a relaxed atmosphere. Instantly your audience will also pick up the informal nuances of the room ambience.
  4. Most important, you’ll calm down too.

You’re now ready to begin stage one of a successful presentation!

Author: Saroj Aggarwal


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