Palms sweating, shaking, voice quivering, forehead burning, dizzying… most of us have experienced some degree of anxiety when we do presentations which are inevitable in MBS. Delivering your ideas effectively is essential in your personal and professional success, but public speaking doesn’t come naturally to everyone, and it undoubtedly takes effort to deliver an effective, crowd-pleasing presentation.
As the presentations for 2019 MBS Case Competition are coming up fast, it’s imperative to grab some practical advice and learn from last year’s top teams who stood out in the presentations.
Here are four ways to manage your presentation nerves, including some hot tips from last year’s participants, Sean and Angie, on how to nail a presentation!
1. Positive Self-Talk
In most cases, you create your own fearful response to public speaking. Try to turn unhealthy thoughts into a constructive mind-set. Instead of reinforcing “I’m not a good public speaker” in your mind, you can change it into “I can do this. I will follow my rehearsed plans. This is manageable.”
2. Chunk Your Message
Chunking is a term referring to the process of taking individual pieces of information and grouping them into larger units to improve the amount of information you can remember. Instead of building your presentation around a long list of multiple points, ensure your audience remembers your message by chunking your presentation into three main takeaways.
3. Deep Breathing
Calm your brain’s fear centre with slow, deliberate breaths and slightly longer exhales. It’s a simple formula: breathe in for four seconds, hold the breath for four seconds, and then breathe out for four seconds until you feel relaxed.
Rehearse your presentation to yourself at first (speak in front of a mirror), then to your teammates and friends. Beyond just practicing your slide timings, actually visualise and hear yourself say the words with your slides. Make sure that the structure of your talk matches the sequence of your visual aids.
Hot Tips From The 2018 Top Teams
Angie Zhang, from the first runner-up team last year.
1. Ditch the notes and engage with the audience.
2. Pauses are powerful. They’re great for grabbing the audience’s attention and building anticipation.
3. Practice in front of an audience. If possible, practice in a venue that is similar in size to the one you’re expected to present in. This will help you become familiar with the setup on the day and help with the nerves!
Sean Ang, from the second runner-up team last year.
1. Being well-prepared can be a significant confidence booster. It’s essential to have a thorough understanding of the underlying issue and be well-researched in the topic. For my team, by frequently challenging each other’s ideas, it allowed us to ‘poke holes’ and ultimately strengthen our arguments for the presentation.
2. Practice makes perfect. Considering the limited time given to present the case, it is imperative for everyone in the team to be succinct and clear in their delivery. Nonetheless, having a set of well-designed slides can also help enrich the team’s presentation.
3. Anticipating the judges’ questions is important in Q&A. Having a mindset that every assumption made will be scrutinised allowed us to be more prepared. Our ability to justify our approach to the judges certainly enhanced the credibility of our solutions.
Whether you’re presenting in the 2019 MBS Case Competition or just preparing for a class presentation, we hope these tips are useful for you and your teams in building a solid presentation!
Edited by Hanna Tang.