How do leaders prepare for big presentations? Do they read books, watch videos or jump into a last minute seminar? Top executives choose better ways to get ready…find out their top 10 tips here.

Big day coming up? No time to plan, prepare, and get up to speed? No problem. More and more senior executives prefer confidential virtual coaching. This provides one-to-one targeted focus and personal attention, critical to get ready for high-stakes presentations.

In interviewing my busy clients, it turns out that many organizations do not have a formal process in place for individual presentation coaching. Yet, more executives are required to speak to teams, present virtually, report to decision-making boards, and address the public. In today’s market, these presentations are often given in a diverse range of media: face-to-face, online, video conferencing and video presentations.

To get ahead, it helps to have a clear set of questions when evaluating if emergency presentation coaching is right for you. Use this quick set of questions to make a wise decision for yourself and your executive team.

1. Audience Insight
First thing that comes to mind about presenting is often: “what shall I say?” But as presentation experts will tell you…it’s more about what your audience will hear.

When presenting to different groups, ask yourself a single question: “What do I know about this audience?” If you are fuzzy, unclear or have mixed messages, do your best to understand your audience—before you begin to build your presentation.

2. Repeatable System
Every terrific performance relies on a powerful architecture or system. If you must reinvent the wheel for every presentation, you’re not moving ahead.

Look to presentation skills training to learn a proven systematic approach to presenting. Just like project management, team development, or strategic planning, presenting is much easier when approached with a rigorous architecture.

3. Engaging Content
To be successful, you must know your audience and provide valuable insights that engage them. Otherwise, the presentation will join the ranks of ‘dull, deadly and tedious.’

4. Confidence With Q & A
Many presenters do fine with scripted messages and prepared slides. But when the questions come flying, they freeze. If you struggle with handling questions with poise, this is a critical area to practice.

While you can practice with peers or staff, it’s important to raise the bar. Get questions at a pace, quality and stretch to truly challenge your skills.

5. Impromptu Remarks
Funny, right? Impromptu remarks are worth practicing. Not only are you practicing what to say, you’re also refining how to gesture, move, make eye contact and project leadership presence.

6. Technical Ease
Does your presentation need tweaking to work across different technologies? It’s important to practice and gain total ease with each media to manage the moment with poise and polish.

7. Visual Impact
When is the last time you reviewed your presentation for visual impact? Are you using slides from the stone ages? Are you scribbling on a whiteboard instead of showing a clear compelling message?

Visual impact can make or break your presentation. There is no more important point to focus on if you are serious about being effective.

8. Objective Feedback
While peers may pat you on the back or give you a ‘thumbs up’…are they telling you the whole story? Many people prefer not to give candid feedback to their boss. Or they may be reluctant to tell you if you are boring, have distracting body language, or a monotone voice.

9. Report Card
Just like in school, give yourself a report card. How did you do after each presentation? Did you get candid feedback? Did you stretch into new skills? Did you master diverse technology?

10. Plan For Continuous Improvement
Presenting for maximum impact requires a persistent focus on learning, measuring and getting feedback. Find out if you have the best story structure, clear visuals and are inspiring action. Learn skills to use the whiteboard to engage your audience.

Take a close look at these 10 tips. Do you have questions you want answered? Are you getting the coaching, training and personal attention you deserve from your organization?

If you want to excel in high-stakes presentations, use this tip sheet to make a wise choice. An expert presentation coach provides objective and honest feedback so you can exceed your own expectations.

Author's Bio: 

Milly Sonneman is a recognized expert in visual language. She is the co-director of Presentation Storyboarding, a leading presentation training firm, and author of the popular guides: Beyond Words and Rainmaker Stories available on Amazon. Milly helps business professionals give winning presentations, through Email Marketing skills trainings at Presentation Storyboarding. You can find out more about our courses or contact Milly through our website at: