Presentation Tips and Tricks

Presentation is the most nerve wracking thing for many conflict engagement professionals, as it is for many other professionals in many other fields.

Many presenters forget a basic fact: meetings, workshops, seminars, classes, podcasts, pitches, elevator speeches and even 1-on-1 conversations are presentations.

Any time that you stand up in front of somebody else and use your words, your voice and your presence to transpose information from your brain to another person’s brain, that’s a presentation.

With that in mind, here are three tips to keep it fresh:

  • Remember the audience: The average attention span is down, and there are plenty of distractions in the world, so remember that the audience is whoever is in front of you right now.
  • Lose the crutches: Images and slideshow are too often used as a crutch to support the presenter, rather than as an addition—like spice on food—to the actual meat of the subject matter. The bravest presentations that you can do are those that don’t involve images and a slideshow. This is why the only difference between a 1-on-1 conversation and a 25 person breakout session is scale.
  • Don’t get intimidated by size: When speaking, people are really comfortable 1-on-1, but the sweat level goes up as the size of the audience increases. Why is that? Why do we get intimidated by size so often? Scale scares us, because it seems as though the risk level increases along with the size. But we’ve got it backwards.

The risk level decreases as the size of the audience expands, but the importance of what you are presenting should increase, rather than your nervousness level.

Any time that you’re in front of a person, that’s an audience, and the real risk is not getting your point across the bow.

-Peace Be With You All-

Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT:

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