With as much confidence as you have about your subject area of expertise, for a new presenter, it's normal to feel nervous about sharing your ideas in front of a group of strangers.
The tips below, written by GAFE Summit presenter Sylvia Duckworth, can help you knock your presentation out of the park!
1. Go over your presentation days before. Make sure all the links and videos work. Try opening all Google Apps documents with a different Google account. (Note: see this sketchnote for some EdTechTeam tips on a great presentation).
2. Practice your presentation. Ask a friend/colleague to watch and provide feedback.
3. Earlier in the week check that you have all the equipment necessary for your presentation (dongle, clicker, power bar, projector, speakers, etc.) and put them in a bag by your door. (Note: GAFE Summits will have projectors and speakers already set up in presentation rooms).
4. Try to get a good sleep the night before. If you suspect that you’re not going to sleep well, try to get a good night’s sleep two nights before.
5. Charge your devices the night before.
6. At the venue, ask someone in charge who you can contact in case you have a technology glitch. If possible, go to your presentation room early in the morning before anyone arrives. Plug in your laptop/speakers/projector and make sure that everything works.
7. Make sure you know how to set the proper resolution for your laptop to maximize projection on the screen and to be able to view all of your open tabs. If you don’t know how to do this, find someone who can help. (NOTE: Every projector will display your screen in a different way which is why I recommend you check this early.)
8. Internet connection: Sometimes there will be a special wifi network for presenters only, so ask about this. But if you have a hard-wired option, take it. In fact, it's a good idea to have your presentation (and videos) in a non-internet-dependent form in case you lose all internet connection.
9. If the room and audience is large, ask for a microphone. Wireless clip-on is best. If going with clip-on, avoid wearing a long top/shirt (or dress) without a belt to clip the receiver onto.
10. At a conference, try to get to your presentation room at least 15 minutes before your presentation. Sit at the back of the room, and as soon as the previous presenter has wrapped up, start setting up for your presentation. You might need to be assertive and that’s okay.
11. When people start to arrive to your session, be friendly and say hello (it will relax you). Ask them how they are enjoying the conference, etc.
12. Make sure you have lots of water nearby: you will get very thirsty!
13. Just before your presentation, take a few deep breaths and remind yourself why you are there: You have something to offer and the audience appreciates you being there to share your expertise.
14. Apply to present again and again. The more you do it, the less nervous you will be.
There's so much to gain from stepping out of your comfort zone and sharing your knowledge with others. What are some of your tips to overcome the jitters?