Whether it's for a class or an interview, a conference or a student organization, a pitch to investors or any act that requires persuasion, you will have to give a presentation at some point in your life, probably one of high importance, maybe even tomorrow.
If you're the nervous type, there may just be no better person to take advice from than the British curator of a set of conferences that regularly sees the world's best minds take the stage expressing ideas and thoughts in so efficient a way that you can only dream to emulate. That man is Chris Anderson and he recently spoke to the Harvard Business Review on how to provide a killer presentation.
While Anderson states that the best of presentations have the ability to do big things, he also says that it doesn't require talking big, as he warns that speakers can lose their audiences if they try and make their speeches too complex.
The curator continues to hark on the importance of telling a good story -- "ideas and stories fascinate us" -- and while Anderson stressed the ability to be engaging as a key skill required to have each member of the audience hanging on your every word, he also attributed the downfall of many presentations to something simple: practice, particularly the lack of it.
A lack of practice may not be the only thing that causes presenters to stumble during speeches, though. The simple prospect of being on stage can prove frightening for speakers, but that is an aspect that Anderson deems overrated.
If a person is a little timid on stage, Anderson advises that just finding friendly faces to make contact with can develop what he calls stage presence.
Anderson may have offered this solution but, overall, he says that nervousness is not much of a big deal and should never destroy your perfect presentation.
Photo via Wikipedia, via Harvard Business Review