Like most people, there are a lot of aspects of your position that you probably love, but one area you may dread is giving presentations. Even if you are at the top of your organization, you can still struggle with public speaking anxiety. Maybe you don’t like being in the spotlight or have a fear of being embarrassed. 

No matter the reason, there are many steps that you can take in order to make a successful business presentation. One way to do this is by following the four “Ps”.


The first P is preparation. As you prepare, it’s important to understand the knowledge level of your audience and come up with a key message that you want to get across to them. Take time to understand the venue, how much time is allotted for your presentation, and the format of the event. 

Preparation also includes understanding the technology you may need to use during your speech. There is nothing worse than getting in front of an audience and not feeling confident with the tools you are using. 


Next, is practice. As a speaker, internalize your presentation so you can appear confident and deliver it effortlessly. If you want to come across as authentic, it is important to not memorize your speech. This may seem counterproductive, however, if you memorize it and you forget a phrase then you may seem frantic and the presentation could easily unravel. 


Pronunciation is another key factor. Don’t be afraid to make changes to your speech if you find yourself stumbling in certain areas. Just remember, if you find yourself mumbling or swallowing words then your message might not come across correctly to your audience. 


Lastly, performance is how you come across as a confident, well put together speaker. As you are practicing, use simple language as complex words can potentially confuse your audience and distract them from your key message. 

To keep your audience entertained, adjust your speaking speed and your tone of voice in order to highlight certain points in your speech. Although you want to entertain your audience, it is sometimes recommended to skip out on adding jokes as these can quickly backfire. The last thing you want to do is offend your audience or have them lose interest. 

As you are closing your speech, end with a strong takeaway message. Ask yourself what type of action do you want your audience to take or what do you want them to remember? 

By taking these four “Ps” into account as you prepare your presentation, you will feel more confident as you stand in front of your audience. Don’t let your fear of speaking overwhelm you. If you put in the extra effort, your anxiety will be sure to wash away!

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