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The big presentation

Gilly Meek, Accredited Think on Your Feet® Trainer

We all have that presentation, whether it’s online or face-to-face,  the one that we really want to go well – the big presentation! Maybe it’s presenting our new strategy to the board, presenting some ideas to our colleagues or pitching a product or service to our client.

Regardless of your audience, one of the best things we can do to ensure our presentation lands well, is to prepare properly.

Here are my top tips to ensure your preparation is spot on:

  1. Consider your audience – One of the biggest mistakes people make when they present, is to start writing their presentation by thinking “what do I want to say?”. Our Skilled Presenter™ workshop gets you to consider: “what might my audience want to hear?” So, consider who your audience is and then ask yourself what they will want to get from your presentation.
  2. Create your content first, visuals second – Don’t prepare your presentation by opening up PowerPoint and building slides. Instead, decide what you need to cover and then ask yourself what visuals will support this. Remember that PowerPoint is a visual aid for your audience, not a script for you.
  3. Have a structure – Instead of just having a long flow of information to share with your audience, have some sort of structure. In the Think on Your Feet® and Skilled Presenter™ workshops, we recommend using three key messages/sections to structure your presentation around.
  4. Practice – Practice your presentation several times to help you get the flow. If you can practice in the room that you will be delivering the real presentation, that will be even better!
  5. Prepare for questions – One of the most daunting parts of a presentation is dealing with questions. One of the best things you can do is consider all the questions that you might get asked and then plan how you would answer each question.
  6. Talk to yourself positively – Often people work themselves up into a frenzy before the big presentation. Be really careful of saying the wrong things to yourself e.g. “This is going to go really badly”. Instead feed yourself positive thoughts such as “I know my stuff” or “I am well prepared”. In The Skilled Presenter™ workshop we help you to find the right things to say to yourself to create a positive mindset.
  7. Get a good night’s sleep – The night before your presentation, try and relax and get some good sleep. The more rested you are, the easier it will be for you to manage the presentation well.
  8. Get to the room early – Do not wait until the time of your presentation to set up! If possible, get to the room you will be presenting in, at least 20 minutes early. Set up all the technology, the room layout and get comfortable with where you will be standing.

More about the workshops – deliver knockout presentations every time!

The Skilled Presenter™ – helps you find that magic, by giving you a bedrock of processes and skills that are easily mastered and will give you the basis for any presentation – both in its planning and its delivery.

  • Public workshops (online and face-to-face in major UK cities).
  • In-house (online and face-to-face for groups and teams, worldwide).

Think on Your Feet® – Be clear, confident and think before you speak, with Think on Your Feet® the verbal communication workshop that emphasises structure.

  • Public workshops (online and face-to-face in major UK cities).
  • In-house (online and face-to-face for groups and teams, worldwide).
  • Training your trainers (face-to-face accreditation for corporate trainers with large groups to train).

More about Gilly Meek Gilly is an accredited Think on Your Feet®, Lateral Thinking™, Six Thinking Hats®, The Skilled Presenter™ and Managing Stakeholders Simulation™ trainer and has delivered these workshops to numerous clients. Gilly also trains in Management Skills, Negotiation Skills, Facilitation Skills‎, Impact & Influence and Time-Management.

Prior to joining Indigo, Gilly managed the learning and development function for Global Radio, the UK’s largest radio organisation; training and coaching employees across a number of brands including Heart, LBC and Galaxy Radio. During her time at Global Radio, she ran several management development and s