There will always be new situations at work you are kind of afraid of or do not feel comfortable with. For example, you may have become the direction of a strategic project and you have to present your project plan in front of all members of the board of directors. You may feel like you are not at their level. The first thing to do is telling yourself that if you became this project, it is because your boss or some other people trusted you and thought you can bring some great added value for the project. As a consequence, it is expected from you to act as professional as if you were at the same level as the other people attending your presentation. These people are probably be happy to become new input from someone who has not been involved in that kind of project for ever and has some new ideas.
But even if you are well aware of that, it may remain a stressful situation for you. So here they are: 3 tips to feel more confident when you give a presentation.
If you know your subject very well and prepared exactly what you are going to say, you will not have to concentrate on the content anymore as you make your presentation. You will be able to focus on other things like the tone and flow of your voice, the way you are sitting or standing and looking at the people you are speaking to, where you place your hands and so on. So do not underestimate good preparation.
Do not hesitate to make your presentation for a colleague of yours, or for a group of people in the company that may be interested in the topic but are not in the position to evaluate you, or even your partner. These people can give you great feedback or just increase your self-confidence by giving you positive feedback on your presentation.
On the day of the presentation, come a little bit earlier, check that the computer is working, that your presentation is on the USB stick, that internet is working etc. When your audience enters the room, your first slide should already be projected on the wall.
Wear great clothes
On the day of the presentation, be sure to wear great clothes that make you feel special. You have to find your power outfit(s) :
- you look nice and smart in it, it fits your body shape
- you can move free in it without thinking about it (heels are not too high, belt is not too tight)
- it reflects your personality
- it has something special, it stays in mind so that people remember you.
Choose the colors of your outfit depending on your goal. To inspire trust, confidence, and show that you can be relied on to achieve the project, blue is always the best choice. If you want to send a message of energy and enthusiasm, and show that you are going to engage yourself 100% for the project, a touch of red in your outfit maybe a good choice.
Don’t forget to hear a motivating song as you dress up in the morning, dance in front of your mirror and sing as loud as you can to evacuate the pressure!
The people you smile at will probably smile back and help you to relax. Try to get or find one person in the room that supports you. Maybe it is the person who gave you the opportunity to manage the project and asked you to organize this meeting and give a presentation. You can always look at this person to be reassured if you feel bad, lost, or insecure in the middle of your presentation.
If someone interrupts you to ask a question, smile at this person and show that you are open for feedback and willing to answer properly. Questions are a good sign that what you say is interesting and encourages feedback. Take questions as a good occasion to show your knowledge about your subject. Constructive criticisim is not to be taken personnaly, it gives you the opportunity to improve. It does not mean you failed at your presentation. When people take time to give you feedback, it means that they think that you are able to improve. Otherwise, they would not waste their time giving you feedback.
Every little sucess or positive experience will add to your self-confidence. Time will pass by and you will come at the point when you do not even think about it before making an internal presentation. Self-confidence is like a muscle, you can train it and it becomes stronger and stronger.