Ready? Set? PRESENT!

by Olivia Barker
@oliviabark


Presentations...everyone has to do them! If you're like me, you might spend the first couple of minutes of a presentation shaking your nerves, but I have learned a few ways to help me feel more confident and excited about presenting! Below are a few helpful tips for any presenter!

Be prepared (YES, I know I say this a lot…but just hear me out): The biggest part of being prepared is knowing what you are speaking about. Be sure you understand your topic, the information you plan to share and how you are going to get your point across. If you are presenting for an interview and you receive a prompt, be sure you understand what the prompt is asking. If you are facilitating an organization renewal session, be sure you have thought about everything you need and want to share. Also, spend time practicing your presentation out loud so you know your material and you aren’t constantly looking at the slides or your notes, which can be distracting.


Psych yourself up: If that's looking in a mirror and saying "you go girl" (my personal favorite), listening to your favorite Katy Perry song (“baby, you're a firework, come on show them what you're worth” another personal favorite) or doing a mock presentation for your friends, family or colleagues, do what makes you feel confident and excited to share your knowledge, which brings me to my next point...

Remember you're an educator: When you present, you're sharing knowledge about something you've experienced or learned! Thinking about presentations as my chance to help someone learn and grow helps me to feel more confident. It’s important that you know your audience so you are able to share details and stories that are relevant to your attendees. Presenting at NASPA to a room full of student affairs professionals about successful programming will look much different than if you are presenting to student organization leaders, but in the end you are still educating your audience.

Be yourself (I think I’ve said this before too…): Be sure to incorporate your personality into your presentation. Remember what it's like to sit through dry lectures? No fun! Try to engage your audience and get them involved. Show excitement, be funny, incorporate activities, let them see the real YOU!

Conferences, proposals, organization renewals, interviews, whatever you're presenting for be prepared, get excited, share you knowledge and be yourself! 

Student Affairs - the First Years

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