One of my clients’ major issues is the time, or lack of it, they have to prepare between presentations. Needless to say, this causes stress. Consider the following scenario.
Ginger has a presentation to give to new customers. She was told about it last week. She worked on it to the detriment of a key project, even practicing out loud the night before the talk. She gives it and feels successful. But she has some revisions to make before she sends it to the customer.
At the same time, she has to prepare a talk next week to division managers about her project (the one she has been neglecting). Now she has two presentations to work on simultaneously, one to revise and the other to create from scratch. She has no time to rehearse for the second talk and feels nervous. She doesn’t sleep well. Although acceptable, she feels tired, overworked and frustrated. But today she’s got to revise the first presentation.
Yes, it’s stressful to be constantly getting over one presentation while preparing for the next. There is no one solution. The best way to reduce stress is to analyze the way you go about creating presentations, and figure out where you can save time. If you don’t use the following strategies, then you are probably taking twice as long as you need. Use them, save time, reduce your stress level, and get more work done. And you’ll never give a mediocre presentation again!
- Create a PowerPoint file for each type of presentation. For example, create a project update file with all the slides set up exactly as you need them. Then you just need to put in your new content.
- Learn to use the Slide Master. It’s the best time investment you can make. People waste hours creating every slide themselves rather than inserting a slide from the Slide Master that already has a layout. Pay someone to explain how to use it and to create several Slide Master looks you can use over and over again.
- Keep a file of artwork, tables, images, and shapes. I am not talking about looking at other presentations for ideas every time you are preparing a talk. I am talking about a file with all these images in the right background and color scheme. You open the file and choose several to use.
- Know how to use PowerPoint effectively so you can save even more time. Taking a PowerPoint class may not help you that much. You need a class on how to create a presentation using PowerPoint.
If you want an example of a project update file with all the slides set up exactly as you need them, just contact me through my web site.
Claudyne Wilder coaches executives, managers, and salespeople on how to deliver presentations that get to the message. Her clients give compelling, passionate presentations. Her company has an ongoing contract to give her Get to the Message: Present with a Purpose workshop at a Fortune 100 Global Pharmaceutical Company. Claudyne brings a unique and invigorating perspective to her work from her years of studying the Argentine Tango.
Do visit Claudyne’s site at Wilder Presentations to sign up for her blog, her tweets or to download some free presenting tools.