For everyone who presents, it’s the horror show par excellence: In the middle of a PowerPoint presentation, you lose the thread. It’s an embarrassing moment, but it doesn’t have to lead to disaster. There are a few simple tools to help you quickly get out of a mental block during your presentation.
Has this perhaps happened to you before? You have a presentation to give, you prepare well and think about how to present your content in the most exciting way possible. You rehearse diligently until you are sure you have everything under control. On the day of the presentation, you feel good. At live events go to the podium, at online presentations you welcome the participants.
At the beginning of your presentation, everything goes well at first
You start your PowerPoint presentation peppy and the audience is listening intently. And suddenly…film break. What were you about to tell now? How does it go on again? You had rehearsed everything perfectly. The audience is waiting. If this happens to you for the first time, you may quickly lose your composure. Heart racing, sweating, panic. Fortunately, you can also master such critical situations, if you follow the advice below.
First commandment: if you “hang” when presenting – keep calm
There are many reasons why a person’s mind can suddenly go blank, but the biggest is tension under the pressure of wanting to be perfect. Perfection does not exist, especially within the human race. We are all flawed, so you might as well accept that fact and let go of your urge to want to be perfect. Realize that even very experienced presenters will “hang” at some point. These things can just happen. No audience member will think badly of you if you stumble for a moment. In a mental blackout, you should therefore try to stay calm.
Don’t slavishly bracket the letters of your script
Of course, if you have your presentation completely memorized and want to reproduce every single word perfectly, you will quickly get into trouble when you get stuck in your script. Instead of asking yourself: What sentence did I want to recite at this point, it is more helpful if you ask yourself what you just want to explain to the audience. More important than the original wording of your sophisticated manuscript, is the message you want to convey.
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Present with Storytelling – Tell a Good Story
Imagine that you now had to stand in front of an audience and tell the fairy tale of Hansel and Gretel. Can you recite the story from memory in the same wording as the Brothers Grimm wrote it down? Probably not. But you most likely know enough about the fairy tale to recite the story in your own words. If you dress up the essential information of your PowerPoint presentation in an entertaining story, then you can convey all the messages to your audience more freely and in your own words. And if you ever get stuck: If you know the story, you quickly get back to the point where you know what happens next.
Use mnemonic devices
Learning an entire speech by heart is really problematic. To help you stay on task, simply create some sort of memory aid. This could be a loose leaf with a few bullet points to help you get from one point to the next and so on. If you feel like you don’t know exactly how to proceed, you can take a quick look at this cheat sheet and you’ll be back on track.
Adding speaker notes to your PowerPoint slides
When you create a presentation in PowerPoint, you can add speaker notes to your slides to have a quick mnemonic available during the presentation. The notes area is a field that appears below each slide. If you have not yet deposited notes, the prompt Click to add noteswill appear here. There you can add your bullet points.
A little trick to help you remember
One method that everyone has used to remember is to recap what has been said so far. You start by recalling what you just talked about and how you introduced that topic. What did you say after the introduction, what happened next? Most of the time, this will lead you to spontaneously remember what you were going to tell next. Of course, you should make the memory process a little different in front of an audience. Use your temporary memory problems to summarize the current topic again for the audience. By repeating these points, you will most likely remember where you were and be able to move on without the audience noticing.
A little practice with presentation experts will quickly give you more confidence
If you want to improve your skills as a presenter in a short time and gain more confidence, ask a presentation agency for appropriate training. How quickly great improvements can be achieved when you train with professionals will probably amaze you. Even after a short time you can improve your performance as a presenter in this way decisively. .
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