WORKPLACE PRESENTATIONS ARE COMMON
The Big Presentations in Small Rooms concept is growing! What started as a book inspired a blog, a podcast, an online community, and more is coming!
Due to increased visibility, I am having more conversations with people who approach me out in public. They have seen the blog, heard the podcast, or been invited to the Workplace Presentations Hub. They are curious about the idea and wondering if it can help them in their workplace.
I was talking to a friend the other day. We were discussing The Workplace Presentations Hub. It is an online community for people whose work involves presentations. He said that he didn’t feel like his work involved presentations—until we started talking about workplace meetings, updates, reports, and testimonials. Then he realized that he does a lot of presentations. He didn’t know that those presentations qualified as being presentations.
Then my friend realized he does a lot of presentations and that they are stressful for him. He’s afraid that he will stumble over his words or forget what he was supposed to say.
Does this sound familiar?
Those are common fears. I could tell my friend was looking to see if there were any tips I could offer. Here are a few things I shared with him.
WORKPLACE PRESENTATION TIP: FOCUS ON AUDIENCE
When people are in a workplace presentation, they focus more on themselves than on you. They are looking for helpful information and perhaps guidance. If you provide these with a humble and helpful spirit, the presentation will be appreciated.
They are not concerned about how slick you are; they want to see if you can provide what they need. It is more about being helpful than it is about being perfect.
Imagine how frustrating it would be for someone to get up and flawlessly deliver irrelevant information.
Imagine how appreciative the audience would be if a presenter could get up and speak conversationally—not trying to be slick. Suppose the speaker is knowledgeable and able to provide helpful information and guidance. In that case, the audience will be satisfied if not pleased.
In practical terms, how does this guide the preparation, practice, and delivery of a small group presentation?
Here are three quick tips.
WORKPLACE PRESENTATION TIP: PREPARE RELEVANT CONTENT
When preparing content, keep the audience in mind. What do they need to know, and how can you best explain it? Are there any numbers or percentages that would be helpful?
Do you need to provide some context?
“Here is what has happened, here’s what is happening, here is what could happen…”
Are there other realities that can serve as an illustration?
“It’s kind of like…”
If you are not sure what they need to know, then have a few conversations with audience members to understand the needs better.
Using all of this information, prepare your content to fit within the time limitation.
WORKPLACE PRESENTATION TIP: PRACTICE FOR FAMILIARITY
Then it is time to practice. With most workplace presentations, you do not have much time to practice. The goal is familiarity with the content. Not memorization, but familiarity. Since these presentations are usually short, you can practice a presentation five times and not take up too much time. You might be amazed at how much a five-time run-through can help you feel more comfortable and present more effectively.
WORKPLACE PRESENTATION TIP: PRESENT WITH ENGAGEMENT
When presenting, remember that you are not in front of a big crowd. You cannot escape eye contact by looking over everyone’s head or looking at the group while avoiding direct eye contact. Instead, think of this as a normal conversation with multiple people and let your eye contact move around the room so that you engage with each person present. If someone has a more reassuring presence, look to them a little more often to bolster your confidence.
Be confident in what you know and humble about what you don’t know. Be willing to seek out more information as needed and follow up with the audience members.
Do your homework. Practice effectively. Deliver information in ways that engage the audience.
You will do well, and your audience will appreciate you.
There is so much more to learn about this subject.
If you want to read more, pick up the book Big Presentations in Small Rooms.
If you like to listen, check out The Big Presentations Podcast.
If you are looking for a community, join The Workplace Presentations Hub.
There are so many ways to receive help and encouragement. It is an honor to serve you!