Sunday, March 13, 2016

Preparing for a presentation

Hi All, sorry it's been a little longer than usual for my post, I spent last week preparing for a lecture for a Graduate Class on Information Policy.

On Thursday I headed back to my old stomping grounds, the School of Library and Information Studies at the University of Alberta to give a talk on my current work with Open Government.

Public speaking has always been a little tricky for me - I'm happy to volunteer, and even more happy to do it once I'm in front of a group and talking, but the lead up to these things can be quite stressful.

So having done a few public speaking events over the years, here are my key tips to making it through.

1) Realize Stress is normal
Totally honest fact - ten minutes before I gave my talk I was literally thinking "I could just run - I'm sure the class will move ahead without me!"  For me, this is totally normal - I knew I wasn't actually going to run off before a presentation, but acknowledging that it is stressful helps.  Public Speaking is stressful.

2) Preparation is key
Whether you spend your time creating slides or simply mumbling your speech to yourself over and over again in the days leading up to the talk, this will help you get going once you've begun to talk

3) Ask for help!
Whether having a friend or loved one look over your talk, or even just explaining to a co-worker the key points you want to touch on, this gives the people around you a chance to help and a way to point out any obvious holes or conflicts in your logic.

So there you go - not sure how often the advice will come in handy, but at least it may give you a place to start.

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