If a presentation fails, it’s likely for one of the following reasons:
You can’t control your nerves. You’ll stutter, misspeak, ramble, rush, do weird things with your hands or some other distracting action if you don’t rein in your anxiety.
Take a deep breath, and tell yourself “I will give an excellent presentation. I am in control. I will be calm and enjoy this.”
You don’t relate to the audience. Find out what you can about your audience prior to speaking to them, even if that is just taking a quick poll to gauge their understanding of the topic.
You don’t involve them. You must find ways to engage your listeners. Ask questions, encourage them to ask questions, plan a brainstorming or other activity, prompt them to “Write this down” before a poignant or significant statement, or tell them to move around.
— Adapted from “Do You Make These Four Common Mistakes When Giving a Presentation?,” Eve Ash, SmartCompany, www.smartcompany.com.au.