{ "media_type": "text", "post_content": "Any advice on how to improve your presentation skills? I am in my first client facing role and I want to make sure i do well. \n", "post_id": "61004122a53ba40020900d5a", "reply_count": 8, "vote_count": 1, "bowl_id": "5de0ca57b629fb0028032227", "bowl_name": "Black in Tech" }

Any advice on how to improve your presentation skills? I am in my first client facing role and I want to make sure i do well.

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Ask questions, don’t be afraid to not have an answer. Don’t let your clients provide solutions, drive them to outline goals and then you and your team create the solutions and present. Have bail out phrases handy so you aren’t always saying buzz phrases like “let me circle back” Ex: client asks you something you don’t have an answer to. Response “that’s a great question! [insert follow-up questions to get to the root of what they are getting at]… I have some ideas on how to respond but want to run them by the team to see if Ive missed anything.” Be organized and thorough. Clients are very forgiving if they think you are on top of things. I use open items logs embedded into agendas and review them with clients, send stuff 24-48 hours in advance so they can re-read, etc. Acknowledge everything you talk about in writing so you have a paper trail and clearly outline the steps you are owning, due dates, etc. schedule your follow ups accordingly. If a client asks for something, ask when they want it by and what drives the dates. Advocate for your internal support teams as much as you do your clients.

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Be prepared and ready to give an answer. Go through all your content and have notes ready for any potential deep-dives. Most importantly, don't be so hard on yourself, everyone makes mistakes/will have momentarily laspe of stupidity, it's okay, just remain confident.

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Do you have a favorite speaker that you model your presentations after?

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Make eye contact for 3 seconds minimum with each person. Be able to speak through the content at a high level based on memory in private prior to your meetings. Speak slow to the point you think you’re speaking too slow. Remember that your audience is not better than you in any way.

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Remember the 5 P’s “Proper preparation prevents poor performance” You’ve gotta make sure you’re fully prepped for your presentation. Make note cards if you have to, but don’t rely on them. Practice, practice, practice — this is really the only way you’ll get better at presenting in front of anyone. Not just your client. I’ve been in consulting for almost 10 years and I still rehearse my client facing meeting intros. Read Presentation Zen if you haven’t already. I had an entire course in my masters program dedicated to perfecting presentation skills and this was mandatory reading. Best of luck, and always remember to relax, almost everyone hates giving presentations. Do your best!

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This is why I love this bowl so much! The advice is always so impactful. Where was this when I started in consulting💕💕💕

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Prepare and practice. It never hurts to do a practice run (with or without an audience) so you know how you will proceed through the basics of the presentation.

Practice, more than you think you need to. Present to someone in your life who knows very little about your industry; they'll ask a lot of questions and while many of them won't apply to your presentation's audience, a few of them are bound to be obstacles you hadn't foreseen and having an answer ready will make you more confident even if they don't come up.

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