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Powerful Presentations: Planning, Practicing, and Performing By Andrea S. Gaboriault and Luis Fernando Hamburger Andrea and Luis provide their best tips and tricks for giving a presentation your audience will long remember. Picture this: You and your team just completed your latest design. You know the design so well you could take it apart and put it back together with your eyes closed. You know every bit of hard work that went into it, and every part that each member of your team played. Then, your boss asks you to present the project to a major client. Okay, you think. I can do this. But your palms immediately start sweating, your heart skips a beat or two, and your mind goes completely blank. Just the thought of having to get up in front of a group of people and talk makes you want to run out of the boss’ office right then and there. Glossophobia, or fear of public speaking, is one of humanity’s most common fears. However, when you prepare your presentation with care and attention to detail, you can sail right through it, confident that you’ve thoroughly covered every talking point and are prepared for any question the client might ask. To help you nail your next presentation, Copy Editor Andrea Gaboriault and Senior Graphic Designer Luis Hamburger sat down to discuss their favorite presentation tips. Do Your Homework Andrea: Planning your presentation is the most important step. Outline your main points in the order that you want to talk about them, and plan out visual aids to accompany each one. Most people are visual learners, so by providing an image or animation to drive home each of your points, your audience will walk away well informed. Luis: Also when you plan, save the best for last. If you are using a PowerPoint, leave the visual that has the most impact for the final slide. If you start with your best visual or show it somewhere in the middle, people will think you’re done at, say, slide 3 and will stop paying attention to the rest. Plan what you’re going to wear, too. Your clothing should not be too garish, because you want to attract your audience’s attention to your visual aids. Look elegant—this doesn’t mean you have to wear a suit, but be sure your clothing is inconspicuous. Looking your best can also go a long way toward boosting your confidence. Andrea: You will also feel confident when you plan exactly what you will say and how you will say it. You could choose to write out every word and read it, however, you will most likely lose your audience’s attention if you do. Instead, use your outline to guide yourself as you talk. This will help you sound more natural. But be thorough—jot down a short note of everything you want to say. You can certainly use an abbreviated version of 27