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On Wed, 31 May, Timothy Schablin wrote:
>I've been getting a few calls from total strangers that want me to give
them a presentation. I'm petrified of the idea. I have a portfolio ready and
i prepared a presentation package. but, i'm too scared to go through with
it. what will they expect of me?
You have completed an *essential* step that too many speakers do not do. You
are leaps ahead of most and I commend you for that.
They will expect a one-man-show, not a whiz-bang Las Vegas production, so do
the best you reasonably can with what you have. Present some examples of the
"before-and-after" type (with former client's okay). Show your audience the
niftiest and dullest work you have done. Do not apologize for the quality of
your work, assuming you are showing stuff you and the client were pleased with.
> How long should a presentation be?
Probably, shorter than you want it to be. Long enough to communicate enough
details. General enough to leave your audience wanting a bit more, but not
too much more. Five to ten minutes probably is a reasonable length.
>Any ideas on how to get over the fear?
Do a bit more "research" about your audience and what they may want you to
do for them and about the limits of what you can do -- your abilities,
skills, and equipment.
Then practice, practice, practice. Practice your presentation in front of a
mirror; practice it while cooking dinner, driving down the road, or jogging
around the block. Dress as you would for an interview (because that's what
this presentation really is in your case) and tape yourself on a camcorder
as you practice your presentation from start to finish (Do this several
times). Then sit down in front of your TV and watch yourself. After you
get over laughing and weeping (I've done this, so I know how it is),
realistically critique yourself and polish your presentation -- speech *and*
gestures. If you don't have access to a camcorder (or even if you do), find
a _very_ trusted friend and make your presentation to him or her. Ask this
friend to give honest feedback about what you could do to improve. Doing
these practice sessions will help you build the confidence you need to get
over your fear.
BTW, nothing *but* practice will reduce your fear; however, you will always
have *some* fear. That's normal.
I also have some presentation tip sheets I could mail or fax to you. Let me
know if you want them.
Shelley Strong, Editor
sstrong -at- techreps -dot- com