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Coping With Presenting Infront Of 200+ People  
User currently offlineRunway23 From US Minor Outlying Islands, joined Jan 2005, 2182 posts, RR: 36
Posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1644 times:

I have an oral presentation in just over 3 hours and am quite a bit nervous as it is the first presentation I do infront of a large room (200 or more people). Any presentation I have done up to now has been maximum 30-40 people.

How do you cope with the pressue and calm down?

25 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineEvan767 From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 2957 posts, RR: 2
Reply 1, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1601 times:

Make yourself think nobody real cares about what you're presenting. In most cases, they don't. It helps for me. It also helps if you'd have taken a communications class. (I recommend it)


The proper term is "on final" not "on finals" bud...
User currently offlineHawkerCamm From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 405 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1592 times:

I would recommend 3 pints of stella. Strong european larger.

User currently offlineD950 From United States of America, joined Jul 2004, 493 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1586 times:

Try to imagine a room full of friends and family, get some Chivas, (or Columbian) and walk in like you own the place.


Resting on your laurels is a synonym for flirting with disaster
User currently offlineGeorgiaAME From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 958 posts, RR: 6
Reply 4, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1564 times:

This is airline related? Anyway: First, these people are your friends, they are really interested in what you have to say, otherwise, they wouldn't be there. Also, they don't have the info you have; if they had, again, they wouldn't be there... So go knock them dead.

I cannot understand how people can't enjoy speaking to a crowd. I love doing it. One of my little tid bits: While you are speaking, look around the room, and make direct eye contact with individuals in the audience. You don't have to hold it for long, just speak directly to multiple individuals. You will get results.

And when all else fails, an as needed prescription for propanolol (a blood pressure med) taken 1 hour before speaking usually works minor miracles.

Good luck.



"Trust, but verify!" An old Russian proverb, quoted often by a modern American hero
User currently offlineHawkerCamm From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2007, 405 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1526 times:

In all seriousness I think confidence, self believe and a good understanding in what you are presenting are the most important thing.

The quality of your presentation helps a lot. If its Powerpoint don't put too many words onto a slide. Try to make your slides bullet points. If you understand what your presenting you can expand on the bullet points during the presentation naturally and don't come across script reading.


User currently offlineGeotrash From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 326 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1508 times:

Hard to offer the advice you need in an internet forum, but the key for me is to have fun with it. Some things to live by:

1.) The audience WANTS you to succeed in a presentation. Most will be pulling for you.
2.) YOU will be paying far more attention to the details and minor screw ups than they will. Most will never notice.
3.) Keep it lively and put good natured humor in when you can.
4.) It's ALL in the delivery. Think of how hysterical Bill Cosby's delivery can make an ordinary thing.
5.) Walk around a lot. Engage with people. Make lots of eye contact.
6.) Smile A LOT. Laugh and people will laugh with you.
7.) Talking to 200 or 5000 people is no different than talking to 30 or 40. We only think it is.

Cheers,
Dave


User currently offlineToast From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 7, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 4 hours ago) and read 1482 times:



Quoting HawkerCamm (Reply 2):
3 pints of stella. Strong european larger.

Do you mean Stella Artois? The unexciting, rank-and-file beer par excellence...

Anyway, I woudln't recommend beer. Struggling not to burp whan talking in public is torture and can backfire badly. A shot of vodka is much better. One, not two or more.

There really are no reliable methods to fight stage fright except this: be charming and funny. Get them to laugh once or twice and your stress will disappear in no time. Even the dullest subject can be presented in an entertaining way, and there is really no excuse for boring speeches. However, most people are mentally prepared for tedium, because that's what they usually get. Surprise them.

I'll admit I'm a bit of a stage whore, and I love having a crowd that enjoys my bullshit. My record audience was about 2500 people, but numbers are really, really meaningless. Be witty and they'll be eating from your hands. Believe me, getting a roar of laughter from an audience is the next best thing to sex.  Smile

Good look. Big grin


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11446 posts, RR: 76
Reply 8, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1463 times:
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DO some warmups prior to the event and watch the others who are speaking. Rehearse your presentation and start off lightly with some humor of some sort. Self-depracatory is fine.

Use notecards to help stay on track. When you lose your place refer back to the last card you turned over. Don't say UM or YOU KNOW at all....silence is better.

Look at the audience and establish eye contact with several people and remember that they're on your side. It makes it easier to focus partially on a few people while not ignoring the rest of the crowd.

Have fun...make fun of yourself a little but not too much....and be enthusiastic. If you've chosen a topic to sell (presenting is selling) then you should like it and your enthusiasm will be catching.

Bon chance.



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineAC320 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 9, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1459 times:

Picture everyone naked.

If they're ugly, imagine naked and attractive people.


User currently offlineGreasespot From Canada, joined Apr 2004, 3078 posts, RR: 20
Reply 10, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1459 times:

Do it naked...then they will be to shocked and you can say gibberish and no one will notice.

GS

oh and as everyone else said you will be fine.



Sometimes all you can do is look them in the eye and ask " how much did your mom drink when she was pregnant with you?"
User currently offlineNeilYYZ From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1456 times:

It's different for everyone. I used to have a quick drink before I went up in front of people to present. And if you've presented in front of 40 or 50 it's no different than 200. Just go ahead and do it like you've done in the past.

I have done so many presentations throughout university that now I just stand up there and talk like there is no one even in the room. But the more you do it the easier it'll be. Good luck!


User currently offlineRJdxer From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1450 times:



Quoting Runway23 (Thread starter):
How do you cope with the pressue and calm down?



Quoting DL021 (Reply 8):
Look at the audience and establish eye contact with several people and remember that they're on your side.

Nah, forget the eye contact. Focus on checking out the womens boobs. Depending on the type of presentation don't try and tell any jokes at the beginning. If they go flat, so will you. Just talk to them and everything will be alright.


User currently offlineToast From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 3 hours ago) and read 1450 times:



Quoting DL021 (Reply 8):
Bon chance.

Bonne chance. Tsk tsk.

Other than that, you give sound advice, so I'll turn a blind eye to your inhumane treatment of the French language.  duck   Wink


User currently offlineKieron747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 1434 times:

The biggest I have done was in front of about 100 members of the Royal Society of Chemistry Conference back in 2001ish when reporting on my PhD progress.

All I can say is practice beforehand, and look towards the back of the room. You'll probably have several bright lights on your face and you won't be able to see anyone anyway. Keep to time (there's nowt worse than being cut off if you overrun. . Act confident and lighthearted, and GOOD LUCK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Kieron


User currently offlinePetertenthije From Netherlands, joined Jul 2001, 3353 posts, RR: 12
Reply 15, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1413 times:



Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 14):
All I can say is practice beforehand,

That's the one thing I do not do. I have been to a few presentations (in particular back at college) where someone was obviously putting on a well rehearsed show. Those shows are just less appealing to watch at then something that is "improvised" at the spot. A large risk is that something may interupt the show (a question, technical problems with the projector) and the presenter looses the grip and it goes down from there. Instead remember the subjects you want to talk about.

Of course feel free to practise the prononciation of techincal terms and the names (if known) of some of the key people in your audience. It is embarrasing if you want to involve your customer, and then mispronouncehis name. Before you ask, that has not happened to me yet.

Use the little cards mentioned earlier. If you know the subject, and you do otherwise you would not give the presentation, then those little cards should be well enough.

Remember to speak in the microphone. I made that mistake at my first large presentation. Fortunately the acoustics where great and I was very confident so I spoke somewhat loud so everyone could follow it.

Should be obvious, but articulate clearly.



Attamottamotta!
User currently offlineDLPMMM From United States of America, joined Apr 2005, 3589 posts, RR: 10
Reply 16, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1408 times:

Smile, grow a pair, and use 'em. (in other words, speak up)

Don't rush, relax.

Smile.

Don't rush.

Know your material.

Smile

Don't rush.

I've sung in front of as many as a couple thousand more than once. People want to like your presentation.

Even if you screw up, they won't kill you, or even incarcerate you, so....

Speak up.

Smile

Relax,

Don't rush!

know your material.

Don't sweat it.

Junst enjoy it.

Cheers


User currently offlineLAXspotter From India, joined Jan 2007, 3650 posts, RR: 5
Reply 17, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 5 days 1 hour ago) and read 1407 times:



Quoting D950 (Reply 3):
imagine a room full of friends and family, get some Chivas, (or Columbian

you know you always hear about eye contact, what you should do is just look at their top of their heads, that way you wont be shocked to actually have eye contact and you will still look like your looking at your audience like a true orator.



"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 18, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 5 hours ago) and read 1347 times:

Look beyond the Audience while performing is the Key.Think positive.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineKieron747 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 19, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1339 times:



Quoting Petertenthije (Reply 15):
That's the one thing I do not do. I have been to a few presentations (in particular back at college) where someone was obviously putting on a well rehearsed show.

You've obviously misunderstood my comment.

I'm not saying read from a script or have crib cards, there could be nothing worse!

I'm saying "know your stuff" and have a plan, and improvise along the way.

Believe me, you can plan a few jokes that appear spontaneous but which fall in with your pre-planned accepted spiel of a speech.

Act humble. The majotity of your audience will have had to do the same before and will have been as worried as yourself.


"There is nothing new under this Sun or the next" - Sherlock Holmes.

K


User currently offlineDL021 From United States of America, joined May 2004, 11446 posts, RR: 76
Reply 20, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 3 hours ago) and read 1335 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!



Quoting Toast (Reply 13):
Bonne chance. Tsk tsk.

Yeah yeah yeah.....I have the writing ability of a French 5th grader..... I know....my mother laughed when I told her about this one....

Quoting Kieron747 (Reply 19):
Act humble. The majotity of your audience will have had to do the same before and will have been as worried as yourself.

Well, I don't think that Tim's going to have to "ACT" humble....you on the other hand probably have some difficulty!  Wink



Is my Pan Am ticket to the moon still good?
User currently offlineRonglimeng From Canada, joined Oct 2006, 625 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 4 days 1 hour ago) and read 1322 times:

So Runway23, a day has passed. How did it go?

User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31667 posts, RR: 56
Reply 22, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1290 times:

Yup What transpired.
regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineUTA_flyinghigh From Tunisia, joined Oct 2001, 6495 posts, RR: 50
Reply 23, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 1283 times:

I heard he passed out as he was being introduced. More news when I get them.

UTA  checkeredflag 



Fly to live, live to fly - Air France/KLM Flying Blue Platinum, BMI Diamond Club Gold, Emirates Skywards
User currently offlineKay From France, joined Mar 2002, 1884 posts, RR: 3
Reply 24, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 1277 times:

Well, for next time, here's my trick which works for me everytime (max 40 people though):

lock yourself up and stand and present it alone, loud (not silently), exactly three times.

It's amazing how many loopholes, gaps and irregularities or shortcuts your brain tends to jump to (erroneously) the first few times (and when under stress) and this will iron everything out, you'll look as smooth and relaxed as can be during the presentation because it is taking no effort at all.

Kay


User currently offlineDougloid From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 25, posted (6 years 8 months 1 week 2 days 5 hours ago) and read 1234 times:

Some of the best advice I ever got was from Professor Keith Miller who said "When giving a presentation, get up, make three good points and sit down." It's served me well, because as the Bard said, brevity is the soul of wit.

Another good bit of advice from David O'Connor, a Cook County prosecutor, when talking about giving effective opening and closing statements: "You should be able to summarize the most complex case in twelve minutes or less, because that's the attention span of the average juror."


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