While of course, we would all like plenty of time to prepare before making any sort of presentation, the fact is sometimes life happens, and we suddenly find ourselves scrambling to put together a last-minute presentation. Of course, no one can blame you if your presentation isn’t exactly polished to the hilt, but you still want to put your best foot forward and give a performance that will wow. Here are 4 excellent presentation tips to help you nail that last minute presentation.


1. Stay calm


Staying calm is one of the most critical things you can do before, during and after your presentation. Staying calm before your presentation will help you focus on what needs to be done and put you in the best frame of mind to think clearly. Try some relaxation techniques if you find yourself losing control. Panic never helped anyone prepare, and it’s not going to help you. Don’t think about anything but what you need to do to prepare.


2. Prepare handouts


Unless you are a whiz with powerpoint, it’s unlikely that you’re going to be able to put together a full power-point presentation in 24 hours or less. You still want to have visuals that allow people to follow along, however, so handouts will be your next best option. Thankfully, there are still plenty of 24-hour printing shops available. From bsquared, “We exist to design and make printed goods that help people better communicate and conduct business, from the seasoned marketer who needs a large banner produced for their client’s big launch tomorrow, to the Wall Street banker who expects high-quality presentation posters printed hours before an investor meeting.”


3. Keep it simple


Some of the best presentations center around 3-4 simple, fundamental concepts. One excellent presentation tip is to create an effective acronym based on a word that fits in with the theme of your presentation. This not only helps your audience remember the material you present, but it will also help you remember where you are if you get flustered or confused.


4. Tell stories


A critical aspect of giving a great presentation is connecting with your audience. Almost nothing will create better connection than telling a story or two that is personal to you in that will connect you to the material. While you don’t have to bare your soul in front of a room of complete strangers (nor should you), you can certainly give your presentation a more personal touch by sharing a few of your own experiences. Doing so will also help you to own the room.


Above all else, remember to stay calm. Staying calm and relaxing may even help you enjoy the experience. While public speaking continues to be ranked as one of the top fears of most Americans, it can also be an incredibly powerful experience to connect with an audience. If you are privileged enough to experience that moment when you know your material is landing perfectly with your audience, it can create a connection between you and them that few other experiences can match.

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