How Creativity and Play Can Support Presentation Skills

However confident you are, presenting to a new group can be daunting. Presenting comes easier to some than to others, and it’s always good to have a few simple rules in mind to keep those nerves at bay.

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Project confidence- – fake it ‘til you make it!
As the presenter, you are the focal point for the room. You set the tone and the culture of the encounter. Yours is the cool group to be in!  

How you feel and outwardly behave (you may be quaking inside) becomes the magnified experience for the audience/group, if you are open, human, and confident, your audience will feel safe with you and relax. Conversely if you are awkward or embarrassed, your audience will feel uncomfortable and attention will lapse.  

Focus is everything
Have you ever watched a brilliant puppeteer operate a puppet? They are so completely focussed on the puppet that your attention moves to the puppet and you almost forget that there is someone operating it. That is the power of focus. If your attention wavers, so will that of your audience.

 Remember, only you know the plan/order
If you end up presenting things in a different order than you planned, don’t stop and point it out (see points above – confidence and focus!) – nobody knows how it was supposed to go in the first place. If you cringe, so will your audience. Use the adrenaline your body is serving up! Inside you might be quaking, but if you are outwardly confident, you’ll soon feel it on the inside as the presentation continues.

If things go wrong, humour helps!
We are only human, things go wrong, technical hitches and forgotten points. Making a joke about it shows your confidence, and your humanity. I was once watching a friend act in a play when suddenly, the entire set fell over with an almighty crash. Without missing a beat, my friend, in character said, “ goodness me, it’s like the whole house is falling down around us”! She got a standing ovation.

Jessica Shaw

Director PACT Creative training, PACT Creative Training

Jess is the founder of PACT Creative Training (Play, Act, Create, Transform). She has 20 years' experience facilitating workshops using fun and playfulness in order to boost wellbeing and lower stress. Jess runs creative team building events for companies, Staff INSET Training in Schools and wellbeing-through-play workshops for children & young people in schools.