Scary stuff, eh?

A female dancer up on stage.
Suffering from stage fright? Photo by Hulki Okan Tabak on Unsplash

That first time.

That sense of dread.

It was hell on Earth. I will never forget that feeling. I was pacing up and down. I was memorizing the script. I was running through the scroll of slides in my head.

And.

I screwed it up.

On top of that, the back of my shirt was drenched by rivers of cold sweat.

By the end of that 60 minutes,

  • I felt defeated,
  • I was exhausted,
  • And I was ready to jump into the nearest man-hole I could find.

Yes. It was that bad.

Everyone has that 1st Big Bang presentation moment.

That day was today for 5 undergraduate students.

They were obviously nervous. They paced up and down. They were squeezing their palms, releasing it, squeezing, releasing, squeezing, releasing, ad infinitum.

I was there with a friend this afternoon. He was one of the panel judges for a business case presentation by 5 brilliant kids. He knew I was free. He dragged me along.

Sure, why not?

I listened to their pitch [attentively] for 45 minutes.

And for the entire duration, I kept wondering…

What could I do to help them further polish their pitch…?

That thought turned into this article.

I offer 7 simple recommendations.

The best practice for online writing is to shorten the introduction. You want your readers to get to the meat fast.

When they do, they stay. The odds of swiping left is drastically reduced.

The opposite is true when you are delivering a presentation. Aim for a steady introduction.

The first impression matters.

I repeat.

The first impression matters.

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