How To Deliver Better Presentations At Work

Presenting is part and parcel of the role of a Finance professional.

Some love doing presentation.

For others it’s more of a struggle.

Whenever I’m doing workshops, two questions come up time and time again:

  1. How can I be more confident?
  2. How can I keep my audience engaged?

Let’s explore each of these.

Confidence is an outcome.  In my experience there are 3 contributors to being more confident:

  • Preparation
  • Practice
  • Perspective

As an accountant myself, I know that we do our best when we are prepared.

While many get this conceptually, they don’t put enough time into their preparation. 

As a rule of thumb you want to be spending about 15 minutes on preparation for every minute you are speaking.

Practice is also vital.  You can read every book out there on presenting.

But fundamentally the real learning comes when you practice.

Like preparation you can never do too much practice.

It’s also important to keep your presentation in perspective

Yes you want to do well.

Sometimes you will do better than others.

Sometimes you will receive less positive feedback.

Sometimes it goes fine.

At the end of the day, it’s vital to remember that it’s a presentation.  Not a life or death situation.

So what about keeping your audience engaged.

There’s a really important point you need to be aware off.

Presenting at work is very different to being an on stage, keynote speaker at a conference or an event.

You want your audience to be engaged and there are 3 contributors to this:

  • Make sure you understand your audience.  Different audiences need different things.  What works for those in the detail is very different to those at a senior level.
  • Design your presentation to encourage engagement.
  • Shorten your presentation and allow more time for discussion.

Presenting at work can be challenging.  At the same time, it’s often small changes that help you to be more confident and engaging.

If you have enjoyed this blog post, check out my being an effective presenter 3 part mini course by clicking here.