Presentation Tips

Avoid Seeing Your Clients In Their Underpants (And Other Presentation Tips For Succeeding In Advertising)

In March 19, 2013

Being comfortable is the key to making a great impression. So, when it comes to presentation tips, why has the adage of imagining your audience in their underwear survived for so long? Would that really work? Would that ease your nerves and help you make the presentation of your life?

I think not. Whether it’s an audience of fanatically fit folks or a room full of couch and cookie lovers, I’d find imagining them in their unmentionables rather distracting either way. While the scenarios are quite different aesthetically speaking, both would be just as unsettling. Certainly not the calming effect that the adage perpetuates. So my first piece of advice is to keep everyone’s clothes on.

Here are three presentation tips on how to relax.

  1. Know your audience. Whether it’s a client or a prospective employer, do your homework. Know all you can about them and what they are looking for. Plus if you can find out something “personal” and less work related, something you may have in common, it will give you something to discuss at the outset that can help you and them feel more comfortable. It’s the pre-presentation banter—don’t underestimate its value.
  2. Know your material. This is every bit as important as knowing your audience. Know your material inside and out. If you have five days to get ready, use four to come up with your presentation and use one to really absorb and internalize your whole show. The more comfortable you are making your presentation, the more comfortable your audience will be hearing it.
  3. Know when to shut up. It’s way better to leave your audience wanting more than to have them fidgeting in their chairs praying for you to finish. That’s all I’m going to say on that point. (See, I’m practicing what I preach.)

So to make yourself more comfortable whenever you present, don’t strip your audience down to their imaginary Vic Secrets or Underoos. Just stick to these three simple presentation tips instead and everyone in the room will breathe a little easier.

Rick Riley

Mom always said, “If you don’t have anything nice to blog, don’t blog anything at all.” Okay, that’s not true. In fact, mom never read a single blog, nice or otherwise. But it’s still good advice. So look to me for nice … or at least interesting, relevant or funny. Well, maybe smartass or irreverent or sarcastic, too. But that’s it. If it doesn’t fall into one of those categories, you didn’t hear it from me.