I hate public speaking. I start to get nervous about 2 weeks before the event date, and I have trouble sleeping and eating! Even though I HATE presenting at Professional Development sessions, I still do them. This past year, I have done 3 PD sessions, and I have dreaded every one of them.
In this blog post, I will try to pass along some advice from this very reticent presenter! Have you ever presented in front of your peers? Let me know if you have any advice in the comments.
I decided to start hosting PD sessions to get my name and face out there. I want to be seen as a professional with knowledge to share, and I like to network with others. Being a presenter means that I have more to put on my resume, and add to my portfolio!
Find your topic
If you are able to, pick a topic that you are passionate about. I have presented on using technology in kindergarten because that is what I know. I also know that a lot of my peers do not know how to integrate tech into their classroom. It’s a perfect combination- something that I know a lot about, and something that others need to learn about. So think about what your ‘thing’ is, and make it useful to others.
I always make sure I am overly prepared for my presentations. I print out my slides so I have a hard-copy with me. The last time I presented, my computer froze right when I was about to start, and I had to restart it. Instead of starting late and having a room full of people stare at me- I was able to take out the hard-copy and start my presentation. Once the computer booted back up, I continued my presentation using the digital copy.
I also make a hand-out to give out to the attendees. It has an overview of what I am covering in my presentation. I hand it out as people come in so that they can write notes on it as I present. It’s great for them to keep to reference when needed in the future.
I have everything I need open on my computer. When I am showcasing different websites, I make sure I bookmark them and have them opened in tabs so I can easily click through what I need to show. If it’s a document, I have it saved to my desktop and minimized for easy reference.
I make a schedule so that I can stay on track and use my time wisely. If you time it out properly then you won’t have any left-over time at the end, and you won’t be rushing to get all your information in.
Do something that makes you feel confident before you present. For me, it’s buying a new outfit. That way I know I will have something nice to wear, and that makes me feel better. For you it might be doing a face mask, taking a bath, getting your nails done, do whatever gives you a boost of confidence!
I am lucky enough to work with someone who is a rock star at presenting. She was amazing enough to take me under her wing and presented with me a few times. This made me feel so much more comfortable, and gave me the confidence to present on my own. Try to find someone that you can pair up with, it’s so much easier to present when there is someone standing by your side!
I hope this post gives you the boost you need to present a PD session or workshop! Do you have any other advice? Let me know in the comments!