Confidence makes you a good presenter. So, what gets you confidence? It is information, the more you know… the more you build the confidence.
Let me write today my story how I developed presentation skills. Now a days I do lot of presentations to clients across the world. It is mostly around technical stuff predominately around Azure which is obvious as I am an Azure Architect. If I look few year back, I used to get nervous about it. Over the time especially after I moved in to DXC Azure team, I have been given lot of opportunity present in front of internal as well as client senior leadership. Initial days I struggled bit as I was in the hands of fear which we can call it as stage fright.
I really wanted to get rid of that fear and wanted to do good customer presentations. I was waiting for an opportunity to do such sessions. One day suddenly, I have been asked to do a client presentation as one of my colleague resigned who supposed to do that. It came to me at the last minute and I just realized that my first client presentation is just in few days so I took help from my colleagues over the skype session to understand what are the points to be covered. I requested them to present the way they would as they have done few times already and I recorded the session with their permission. Then I wrote down a script which should be voiced over along with PowerPoints slides. I travelled to Bangalore, checked in the room and validated all the access to portals, backup slides and other materials. Set the alarm for 5 am next day, woke up and went through all the materials including my scripts like school boy preparing for exams. The session was planned for 30 minutes but I got only 15 minutes to cover. I think I did a good job as I played script that I prepared. There were no troublesome questions as they did not have much time. I continued this practice for first few presentations which helped me earning the confidence. Even today, I prepare my critical presentations like a boy preparing for the school exams.
When I prepare more, I will be equipped with more information to deal with queries. If I have more information, I feel more comfortable to start my presentations. That’s where we start building the confidence to do good presentations. If you are not confident enough, don’t fake it but build it and you will see preparation is the key for building the confidence.
Recently, I was taking some mentoring sessions for college graduates in our team. We encouraged them to prepare and present the slides everyday. Some of them were nervous presenting as they were lacking confidence as they fear that do not have good English and presentation skills. I shared them my story how I boosted confidence in me in the past. I emphasized the need for strong preparation. Probably, that’s where I revealed my story to someone. I don’t know how much it helped them but they did a good job in presenting their projects works to the leadership.
If you ask me what are 3 ways to do good presentations. My answer would be, First : Prepare, Second : Prepare Well , Third: Prepare Again.
Do you agree? Please provide your feedback and suggestions.