Ask Azra: Presentation is Everything

Dear Azra,

As part of a work project, I’ve been asked to give a presentation to senior leadership. Problem is, I’m a terrible public speaker! I’m afraid if I do what they ask of me, I might mess it up so bad that they will actually fire me. Help!

Speechless in Seattle. 

Dear Speechless,

Your attitude about this situation is all wrong. This is an opportunity of a lifetime! How many people actually get to present things to leadership? I can tell you, not many. You should embrace this project whole heartedly. I know public speaking can be intimidating, but I’ve got some tips to help you get over that pesky part. 

  1. There’s an old saying to imagine your audience naked. I say thats a bit backwards. It’s not the speaker that needs to be distracted with nudity, rather it’s the audience. Instead of wearing your best threads, take the podium in all the glory that nature gave you. Your audience will be so surprised that they will not hear a word of the presentation, which means there’s no worry about flubbing a few words.

  2. Instead of making a presentation for them to ask you questions, flip the script and interrogate your audience on their knowledge of the subject at hand. If you’re feeling like you’re in the hot seat, then they deserve to feel that way too.

  3. Skip the PowerPoint slides and opt for an alternative and memorable presentation style instead. Consider interpretive dance, karaoke, a short play, evocative tapestry, or even abstract art. Really, the potential mediums are endless. 

Individually these options are effective, but when combined, you really can’t lose. Always remember to leave them more confused than when they came into the meeting. It guarantees that they will want more. 

Presentation is Everything,


***Disclaimer***Azra is not someone to take advice from. He’s not even human- he’s an exiled angel that gets his kicks dispensing horrible advice to people. Do not take his advice seriously. It is meant to be satirical and not to be taken literally.