No Time To Prepare Your Next Presentation? No Problem!

Imagine this scenario: your boss calls you into his office and explains that you’ll be giving an important presentation tomorrow morning to a group of senior managers within your organization. Reality check time: Do you feel the same way as when…

A) Your warm shower suddenly turns icy cold
B) Your small plane enters a disturbingly dark thunder cloud
C) Your rickety old elevator abruptly stops between floors

Click below to discover how to design a presentation when you’re pinched for time…

If you’ve answered ‘yes’ to one, both or all of these choices do not despair. It’s natural to feel panicky, annoyed or pissed off when an impromptu speaking opportunity is suddenly thrust upon you. But I want to share with you three proven strategies that will reduce the stress associated with preparing a quality presentation while working within a time crunch.

1. Forget about Perfection (keep your eye on the big picture)

You can always find some element of your presentation that can be improved — no matter how long you’ve worked on it. However, it’s better to prepare a cohesive presentation that communicates your message in a compelling manner rather than stress out by re-working every word, phrase and sentence.

Takeaway: Work within the timeframe you’re given to produce a good, not perfect, presentation.

2. Let the World Add Value (accept feedback as positive)

We think it’s important to be in control of our ideation process. We can get annoyed when someone criticizes our idea before we deem it complete — that’s because we see feedback as an intrusion. However, letting your idea co-mingle with your colleagues’ ideas is a good thing because it quickly introduces you to perspectives you would not have experienced independently. Incorporate the feedback that resonates with you.

Takeaway: Brainstorming with your colleagues will help you crystalize your ideas faster and make them better.

3. Make Some Noise (rehearse your presentation)

Many of us prefer silence and alone time when we work on our ideas. We seek out a quiet space to think and prepare. But when you’re pinched for time, you can’t afford to wait for feedback on your presentation until after you’ve completed your content. You’ll want to gather a small group of people to serve as your mock audience for a pre-presentation dress rehearsal. Their feedback will help you to see what improvements you’ll need to make.

Takeaway: When pinched for time, get feedback as soon as your presentation is at initial draft stage.

When faced with the need to quickly prepare a presentation, you may feel anxious, uncertain and even panic-stricken. However, once you realize that you don’t need to be perfect, controlling or work alone, you can put yourself in a stronger position to give a clear, confident and compelling presentation.