Here’s some advice for your first presentation to a large audience.

I understand that many accountants are more at their keyboard than talking a crowd. Many of us are introverts. I fall into the 99th percentile of introversion so that almost certainly means I am more introverted than you. But I’m not shy. I discovered that I rather enjoy making presentations.

Here are three tips to help you make a success of any presentation.

First and foremost, preparation is key. Understand what your audience wants from you and what, therefore, your objective is for the presentation. Write a script that meets the objective, learn your material inside and out, practice your delivery, and anticipate questions that may come up.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to inject some personality into your presentation. Your audience wants to hear from you, not a robotic recitation of facts and figures. Use anecdotes and relatable examples to connect with your listeners and keep them engaged.

Finally, confidence grows as you move through a presentation so, if you can make a good start, you will find it easier to keep going. Write your first few sentences on a note card to make sure you make the start you want. The card is a safety net. If you’re nervous you can read the sentences directly off the card to get the presentation going. After that, it will get easier.

Making a presentation to a large audience may seem daunting but with the right preparation, personality and confidence, you’ll succeed. You might even enjoy it!