Anxiety and stress can ruin any professional, regardless of the circumstances. This is especially true when dealing with a business presentation, whether it is in a small meeting room or at a massive industry conference.
With that in mind, business leaders should learn how to give the best presentation possible. Being calm, clear and focused here can translate into other aspects of the company, and it never hurts a financial plan to have the ability to stand in front of a crowd and deliver a great speech. Thankfully, this is possible for everyone, even those who are nervous just thinking about talking to a large number of people.
So, in order to get started, here are three steps on the path to a fantastic presentation:
1. Stay healthy at home
Believe it or not, a healthy home life is one of the keys to a successful business. Matt Abrahams, a communication professor and coach with the Stanford Graduate School of Business, wrote that good eating habits, staying in shape and sleeping well will directly improve a person's public speaking ability. As an added bonus, well-rested people are generally less stressed and anxious, especially leading up to a big presentation. Avoid sweets and sugars, and instead lean toward carbohydrates, nuts, oils and other similar foods to give the brain a boost.
2. Pick a set structure
While a healthy lifestyle is important, it isn't the only part of a great speech. Abrahams noted that structure is also vital. This will help the audience remember the information better, and it can also improve the presentation itself. There are several ways a business leader could go here: past-present-future, comparison-contrast and cause-effect. Picking one and sticking to it will make sure everything is clear and concise, and that means those in the crowd will have an easier time following along.
3. Establish credibility early
Even with a great speech in hand, small business leaders have to demonstrate their industry expertise to the crowd, according to Forbes. This will make the audience pay attention, and they'll understand that the information being presented is coming from a respected professional. In order to do this, don't list off credentials at the start of the speech. Instead, tell a story about an experience in the field, or list other references and facts that support the point of the speech. This is a more subtle nod to one's expertise that can be extremely effective.