Excel during your oral presentations
When one is Office Manager, at times one needs to make presentations in front of our colleagues: present the next seminar, the following actions which need to be taken, for the well-being of your colleagues or explain the proper functioning of the corporate concierge service which is soon going to be established. And if like the great majority of the people, you’re not comfortable orally, the task can quickly turn out to be complicated. Hands trembling, little droplets of sweat on the forehead, voice which isn’t really confident and shaky legs are obvious symptoms of oral clumsiness. Don’t panic, there are a few tricks to excel at your oral presentations and preserve this image of a Super Office Manager, which you actually are.
Know your subject
It seems logical but it’s always good to be reminded: know your subject and be at ease with it. To do so, it’s not required to learn your subject by heart, in fact you’re advised against it, otherwise you’ll come across blackouts. Stick to the overview and repeat. It’s not forbidden to have a cheat sheet, on which you’ve noted down these general points, discreetly hidden in your pocket, in case of a failure.
Learn to relax
It seems obvious, spend some time alone in peace and quiet, to relax. To release stress, you can do some breathing exercises. The 4-4-8 is a good technique. For this, breath in for 4 seconds. Then hold your breath for 4 seconds, then exhale for 8 seconds. Do this 3 to 8 times. Careful and don’t choke yourself to death: nobody else will be able to do the presentation in your place.
To inspire confidence, body language is really important. Avoid being too restless, sit up straight and look into the eyes of your public. For this, the trick is to focus on a few people who smile: their positiveness towards you will inspire confidence. For example, your friend Meredith, it works each time. Alternate your glances while looking at these people and change every 2 to 3 seconds. Don’t stare at the same person for too long, you’ll look like a psychopath.
Make sure you articulate and are comprehensible. Once again, exercises can help you. Doing tongue twisters with a pen in the mouth is a method which has proven itself: “peter pifer piffed a pick of piffled peffer”.
Remain natural and genuine during your presentation. Don’t use words or turns of phrases with which you aren’t at ease, speak as you would during a normal conversation (remain reasonable of course…) and be yourself. Your audience will be responsive to this genuineness and give your presentation, all their attention.
Wear comfortable clothes
Be comfortable with what you wear. If you wear clothes which aren’t very comfortable, it’ll go against you in terms of confidence. Do you really have to wear these 15cm stilettos, which haven’t left your closet since 2 years? Or this tie with cartoons on it, gifted by your best friend during the worst present competition?
Wear clothes which reflect your personality, your sincerity and which are in keeping with your job, your company but mostly yourself. As you would do every day…
Since our childhood, we love someone telling us stories. Make storytelling part of your presentation, just don’t stick to displaying facts. Make your presentation lively and explain how you began working on the project, why and the obstacles you came across…You’ll give your presentation a more humane side and captivate your audience.
Easy on the PowerPoint
PowerPoints are good to accompany your presentations but don’t go overboard. Don’t forget that a PowerPoint should support your presentation and not substitute it, otherwise sending the PowerPoint to everyone would have been enough. Avoid having too many texts on your slides and bid goodbye to messed up transition effects, which come along in a haphazard manner.
Practice, practice, practice
For oral presentations in all sectors, it’s important to keep practicing. Practice makes perfect. As time goes by, you’ll be more and more comfortable and find out that giving oral presentations won’t give you gray hair anymore. So, as soon as you get the opportunity, offer to make a presentation and don’t hide behind a pillar, each time your boss asks you to make an oral presentation.
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