‘Think, Breathe and Deliver a confident presentation. These three words are apparently part of an advertising campaign by the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in the UK. I thought that they were a very good mantra to think of as you prepare for your next presentation. Your aim should be to deliver a confident presentation every time you speak. This communicates your competence, inspires confidence and delivers results.

Most speakers experience some nerves before speaking in public. Often, a good presentation can go a long way towards enhancing your career prospects. The opposite is also true. A poor presentation can effectively mean that all hopes of promotion evaporate. As you stumble through your presentation, you make it very obvious that you lack confidence. By association, your audience makes the assumption that other skills may also be lacking.

Preparation is a key element of any confident presentation. Take time to prepare your message. Once you have clarified your message, you will better understand what information needs to be included to communicate that message to your audience. This is the “Think’ part of your confident presentation.

“Breathe’ means that you take a moment to breathe before you start delivering your presentation. Many speakers are nervous – as a result they start speaking at a very fast rate. They are anxious to get the whole presentation over with as quickly as possible. As you take a moment to breathe, make eye contact with your audience. This moment can communicate confidence to your audience. It might feel like a long time for you – it is only a moment. Olivia Fox Cabane, in her book ‘The Charisma Myth” states that you can attain an instant charisma boost by pausing for a  full two seconds before you speak.

‘Deliver” means that you deliver a confident presentation. You engage with your audience. You let them know why what you are saying is relevant to them. You are in effect having a conversation with a group of people at the same time. You allow them to respond, you pause so that they have time to take in what you are saying. You connect with them as individuals and speak to their interests. Your confident delivery takes practice. It is easy to learn. Take the time to make this available to you. A confident presentation will make so much more available to you.

“Think, breathe and deliver a confident presentation – every time.