HomeLockedHow to avoid going blank during a presentation

How to avoid going blank during a presentation

Have you ever been part way through a presentation and suddenly gone blank? You don’t remember where you were up to in your presentation and you look at your audience who in turn are watching your every move.

In reality, your audience is not watching your every move. What they are doing is digesting the information that you have been presenting to them. They may be able to relate to it at an emotional level or may be thinking about how they can apply the information to their unique situation.

Most people in your audience will not notice that you may have gone blank. That is the first point to remember.

Here are a four more tips.

1. Prepare

Follow the 5Ps – Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.

By preparing both your material you will feel more comfortable and confident when it comes time to deliver your presentation. Know your material and practise as often as possible prior to presenting. The more comfortable you feel with your content and any visual aids, the more confident you will feel when you deliver your presentation.

2. Breathe

Have you ever sat through an interview and realised at the end that you had not breathed throughout that time?

Breathing from the diaphragm helps to relax your muscles and ensures oxygen is making it to the brain so that you can think clearly whilst speaking.

3. Fake it till you make it

Social psychologist, Amy Cuddy, an associate professor at Harvard Business School, has provided research on how our body language can have an impact on how we think and behave. Essentially, if your body language is showing confidence and you continue to practise this in your stance at every opportunity then your mind will believe it too. What happens when we think we can? We can!

By gaining confidence, the mind is less likely to go blank at crucial moments during your presentation.

4.  Ask the audience

Confidently ask your audience the question: ‘Where are we at?’ By doing this, you are able to engage the audience within your presentation and give yourself time to gather your thoughts.

It also encourages the audience members to think about what has been covered. By verbalising their interpretation of what has been covered, they are able to internalise the learnings from your presentation. So it is a win-win situation.

Practise these tips on a regular basis to confidently deal with those moments when your mind goes blank during a presentation.

Maria Pantalonehttp://www.infinitegrowth.com.au
Maria Pantalone is the director of Infinite Growth, a Sydney-based company that works with individuals and businesses to improve their communication skills so that they can professionally present their products and services with maximum impact. Her areas of specialty include presentation skills, business writing, customer service and leadership development. For more information about Infinite Growth’s programs visit www.infinitegrowth.com.au