Words to the wise - See others

Preparation is everything

It’s common in your early career to get nervous thinking about the prospect of public speaking, whether it’s for a client presentation or at an internal meeting. Being honest, on big occasions we both still do. What helps keep nerves under control is the preparation you put in beforehand. Check that you know the story you want to tell, whether the sequence of your slides uncovers that story in a clear and compelling way, and crucially, make a point of writing down what you want to say over your first couple of slides.

Getting off to a good start is key to building your own confidence and putting your audience at ease, so it’s worth investing the time beforehand to really think about your introduction – never try to wing it. With that said, an overly-scripted deck can come across as stilted and impersonal, so after using the first couple of slides to get you into the groove, you should feel more at ease to talk around the broad themes rather than sticking to a script. It’s the preparation up front that will create this ease and make you more effective.

“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail”

- Benjamin Franklin, Statesman