Giving a presentation at work can be a nerve-wracking experience. In fact, public speaking is what people in this country fear the most. In order to communicate information effectively and retain your confidence, you need to do some preparation beforehand. Here are two things to do before you give a presentation at work.
Consider Your Audience
One of the best things you can do to give a great presentation is to know your audience. Will you be giving a presentation to senior managers in your company? Will you be talking to coworkers? Knowing who will be listening to you enables you to more effectively communicate with them because you can provide information that is specifically targeted to their wants and needs.
For example, if you are talking about being more productive at work to people who only work a few hours a week, your presentation will be not be the same as if you are talking to people who work long hours every day. The more relevant your presentation can be to your audience, the more they will be willing to actively listen and engage with you.
Prepare Yourself for Questions and Comments
It may seem obvious that you would research your presentation before you deliver it to colleagues, but you can't stop there. Many people give a good presentation but are then stumped by questions or criticisms that follow. Your entire presentation might start to look weak if you stumble over answers or seem ill-prepared for comments from others. To remain strong, be sure to prepare for the response you'll get from your audience. Go through your presentation with a few colleagues, or talk to your manager about the points you plan to make. Use their responses to prepare yourself.
It is also a good idea to write down answers to questions or comments you anticipate. While you might think you know what you'll say, having answers and comments written down will help you if you become nervous and can't remember what you wanted to say. It is also important to think of a general response you can give if someone asks you something you don't expect; you might offer to find out the answer and get back to the person later, for instance.
Use the tips above to help you work on your communication skills and give a more effective presentation at work. Be sure to work closely with your boss to craft a strong presentation that you can be confident about delivering.