If you were to list some of the qualities of an entrepreneur you’d probably say courageous, intelligent, risk-taker, and committed, to name a few. But you would certainly have to include busy on that list.
Today’s entrepreneurs have more on their plate than ever before. They’ve got to raise capital, figure out which social media channels make the most advertising sense, develop their brand personality and a content marketing strategy, set budgets, hire staff, and try and get 5 hours of sleep each night. Oh, and they still have to give presentations at a moment’s notice.
If you have an upcoming presentation and zero time to fully prepare for it, don’t panic. Here are 5 tips that will allow you to deliver an effective presentation with 100% confidence.
Stories are great for two reasons: one, when you have little time to prepare, remembering and leading with a personal story cuts that preparation time in half or more, and two, human beings love stories. We are hardwired to sit up and pay attention as soon as we hear the words, “I want to share a story with you.”
Personal stories are also effective because they have the ability to show your humanity right off the bat. Stories about the biggest mistakes you’ve made or what parenthood has taught you about running a business are entirely relatable to your audience.
Having said that, if you can’t think of a personal story that relates to your topic, consider using a client case study. What are some results you’ve helped clients get? Your audience will be very interested in those kinds of stories as well.
Have a Clear Call to Action
Every marketer will tell you your ads are nothing without clear calls to action. In a sense, your presentation is one big ad for your company, and it should include a call to action as well. After all, no matter how awesome your presentation is, if not one audience member takes action, it was a complete waste of time.
If you’ve got limited time in preparing your presentation, be sure to give some to coming up with a clear call-to-action. What is it you want your audience to do once they’ve heard you speak? It could be something like, “Tonight, I want you to think about the biggest fear you’ve ever faced and how you felt after you faced it,” or something like, “Please visit my blog where you can download a free copy of my white paper.”
Record Your Practice
When you have plenty of time to prepare, you would most likely ask friends and family to sit and listen to your presentation and then give you notes on what worked and what didn’t. But when you’re in a strange hotel room and need to give your presentation the following day, who do you ask, the guy that just delivered your $16 slice of pizza (that was awful)?
Your best bet is to record yourself giving the presentation, using your smartphone or webcam. Then watch your presentation and jot down what you liked about it and what you didn’t. Pay particular attention to body language, pace, and tone of voice.
Obviously you don’t have a lot of time so you needn’t watch the whole 30 minutes. By watching the first five minutes you’ll get a pretty clear picture of what you need to work on.
Focus on Making Connections
Don’t think of making a speech, instead, focus on making connections. When you have little time to prepare a presentation, your best course of action is to adjust your mindset. So, don’t present facts and data so much as get up there and just talk to people. Be a real human who actually has a goal of helping other humans. You’ll feel more confident and relaxed.
Throw Perfection Out the Window
If you don’t have access to a window, a door will work just as well.
Here’s the thing, when you have less time than you would like to prepare for your presentation, you’ve got to be practical. There is no way you are going to get up there and be flawless, and that’s okay. The truth is, too many presenters practice so much they end up coming off like a politician instead of a regular person with helpful information to share with an audience.
So, embrace your busy life because it is going to force you to forget about being perfect. And, at the end of the day, this presentation is not about you; it’s about the audience. Do your best and focus on helping and being relatable and you’ll do an amazing job.
If you apply these five public speaking tips, you’ll deliver your presentation effectively and confidently.