5 ways to create a winning presentation

By Alicia Gillum, alumna of master in healthcare innovation and brand ambassador..

Working in the healthcare industry as a health and wellness consultant, I'm consistently educating members and leaders through some form of presentation. This is done in several settings like conference rooms, stages, and video or classroom settings. I just never know what to expect when presenting in front of coworkers or unfamiliar crowds. I'm happy to share some tips on how I prepare a winning presentation.

#1 Practice
What you may not realize is that being prepared is about how you prepare. So, take time to rehearse what you plan to cover. The key is the more you rehearse, the easier your presentation will feel. I love to deliver my presentation to myself in front of the mirror. Once I feel comfortable, I will Skype a friend or family member and present to them as well. Whether it’s a small group of your friends, co-workers or family, the action of giving your presentation allows you to see their reactions and get immediate and/or real-time feedback.

#2 Transform Nervous Energy into Enthusiasm
Energy is key, so remember to always be in the right state of mind when presenting. I love to bring high energy and get the recipients involved when I present. Be happy and smile. The key is how to find the motivation, so you don't have to down an energy drink or blast music before going in. I simply think happy thoughts to get me going.

#3 Take Deep Breaths
Staying calm is equally important because you can be too eager to present and possibly miss or lose your audience. Before I present, I take a few deep breaths to help keep me calm. The fresh air helps bring oxygen to my brain and relaxes my whole body. I found different breathing techniques through yoga that I use before I present.

#4 The Power Stance
Body language is key, as an audience reacts off the way you look. If you’re slouching or leaning against something instead of standing tall with confidence, it may appear that you are not into the presentation. When practicing in front of the mirror, find proper poses that are best for you. Sometimes I record myself then play the video back so I can see how the audience views me. It’s not so much about perfecting your pose, although that is important, as it is about showing your personality through your stance.

#5 Smile
When I smile in my presentations, it helps reduce any anxiety I may feel and helps keep me calm throughout my presentation. It presents a level of confidence to the crowd. The key is to have fun and be authentic with the right level of emotional awareness.

We're so excited to share Alicia’s story! Alicia is a part of our #LearnASULive team, an ASU Online brand ambassador program highlighting students who are earning their degrees while living their lives to the fullest. If you enjoyed this, be sure to check back for new articles from Alicia so that you can follow along with her journey. To check out all her posts to date, visit Alicia’s Instagram, Twitter and website!

Want to hear from our other ambassadors, too? Use the #LearnASULive hashtag across your favorite social channels to browse through them!

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