Everyone, I want you to look at a presentation this way: even if you know only 10% of what there is to know about a topic on which you are presenting, for the most part, that is inextricably more than what your audience knows about the topic. That right there should make your chest stick out at least an inch!
View yourself as the expert, and think that way before and throughout your presentation. It will build you up, and it helps reduce anxiety and lessen your worries about judgment. And another attitude to consider when working to get rid of your nerves and to boost your confidence is if people want to be so judgmental, then they should get up in the front of the room and try to do what you are doing. (Yes. There was some attitude there, but ... well ... that's simply my view on the matter.)
Those who are pros at presenting, who know the nerves and strength it takes to be up there in front of a room, will be on your side and will refrain from giving you a hard time. And for those who are amateurs or who are completely unskilled at public speaking ... do you really care what they have to say if it's not positive or constructive?
Decide you will become an expert on three specific points and share those points with your audience. You are not making a presentation about the entire car but just on lights. Make it clear that those are the areas you will cover so everyone knows you do not claim to be an expert on all there is to know about the topic but that you are sharing information about which you are interested and passionate.
Additionally, I encourage you to find some interesting fact or statistic relative to the topic that you can share and that will surprise the audience, break the pattern of your presentation, or give a fresh point of view even to those who may be well-versed in the topic.
Finally, if you know beforehand the audience will be filled with experts on the topic on which you'll present, then consider enlisting the help of a co-presenter and teaming up to make it an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Photo credit: Hans Braxmeier
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