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It's okay to feel nervous, but we can avoid appearing nervous to help us get past the initial discomfort and nerves. Confidence should not be confused with arrogance. We can appear confident by staying calm, and remembering that delivering this presentation to our audience is about giving and not about us. Your presentation is necessary, interesting and presenting is an ordinary thing to do!

Enthusiasm is infectious. Smile, be emotive, and otherwise tell your story through feelings as well as facts. Show your audience your own passion for the topic. Say everything as if you find it interesting and expect them to be interested by it as well.

The more directly you address your audience, the more engaged they will feel. Be relaxed and conversational. Rather than rattling off your points, deliver them to the audience as if you are certain they will be interesting. Look directly into the faces of the people you are addressing.

Stand up straight and face the audience completely. Keep your head up and your shoulders back and relaxed. Don't twist any part of your body (shoulders, hips) away from the audience.

As you prepared your presentation you thought of your content as topics and subtopics, before you deliver organize these topics and subtopics along a story arch. Are you missing any information to make this happen? Do you need to add a connecting transition? Start by setting the stage of your topic, then pull your audience into a tale or the details with an exciting climax or central message. It may help to start your presentation with a question or a dilemma so they feel involved from the start.

Before you deliver something you want the audience to pay attention to, alert them of this. If you can, make your audience feel as if they have a stake in whether or not they get your point. Say something like, "now this is where we lose a lot of people" or, "this is one of the parts that's the most difficult to explain.

Think about what questions you expect from your audience and additionally always leave room for questions from your audience to interact and engage them. Can you pre-empt some of them and prepare to answer them? We cannot always know what our audience will ask but we can prepare ourselves to manage our nerves and come prepared with answers to the questions we expect may be asked.

One of the best ways to appear confident, natural and engaging while presenting is to tell jokes and tell funny anecdotes. For example, try leading your audience up to a point that sounds as if it will be serious, technical, or even dangerous, and then surprise them with a joke. If your presentation has a lot of data, you might transition between topics with funny visuals or use a story about how the data was found. Getting engagement from your audience will also energize and help you to feel more confident in your delivery.

Make sure you are incorporating all the Presentation Links from Week 1

Does your structure and plan for delivery cover all your preparation links? Is there a clear beginning middle or end? Is your central message clear?