Upgrade your Presentation for Female Managers

Barbara Hesse, presentation tips for female managers

Presentation Tips, Upgrade your Presentation Tips for Female Managers with Top Ten 

A guest post by Barbara Hesse

When I first met Angie Weinberger, I had just spent a few months in Switzerland and was on the verge of a crisis of purpose. On the one hand, everything seemed so easy (a misconception when you come from a neighboring country) and friendly. On the other hand, with great effort, I adapted my gruff northern German temperament to Swiss customs – instead of staying true to myself. This put me in a pretty bad spot for some time, but after I understood how to get along here in Switzerland, even with my character, things went uphill. I also understood how different the clocks go here and what you must pay attention to. Let us dive into these presentation tips.

New ways – new structures 

Many people – especially women in leadership positions – spend a lot of energy adapting to the new work environment and work demands that come with a promotion, a job change, or even a move to another country. In the process, you sometimes lose yourself and go into a tailspin. In addition, there is also a change in business communication. Colleagues become subordinates, interested interview partners suddenly become superiors, or there are new important contacts or even groups. And you have to juggle all that in addition to the new task.

The test – your first time

And then comes the first show-down. You have to introduce yourself in front of the whole team or present results in leadership for the first time. And your pulse goes up to over 200 beats just at this introduction. It’s something you don’t like at all. Questions like “What will the others think of you?” or “What if you black out?” or even “What if they discover you’re not that good?” may then occupy your mind. The stress increases daily, and you keep pushing the preparation and the issue away from you. Unfortunately, this does not solve the problem itself. But STOP! You can do much more than you think! Even politicians, celebrities, or other famous people who are in the spotlight are usually rarely born presenters. Very often, there is much hard work and preparation behind it, but of course, we don’t tell you that. It is also possible for you to experience such moments and joy when all eyes are on you.

The solution for more visibility

Very few of us have had the chance to have good recurring presentation tips training in our careers because it’s often just assumed. It is assumed that by achieving specific career goals, one has somehow already learned “that” without any specific focus. Accordingly, people use role models that aren’t always optimal or think to themselves with good presenters that they’ll never be able to do it like them anyway. Let me tell you, learning presentation techniques is like learning to ride a bike. You need a little help at first, but gradually, you feel more confident until you’re pedaling properly and even enjoying it. 

Best practice in detail

I want to share the top ten points to consider to create inspiring presentation tips for femaand get noticed better.

  1. Analyze your audience’s topics, desires, and interests to include these points as trigger words. Once you have identified these points, topics are in your hand that will easily capture the other person’s attention.
  2. Start with a/your – preferably pictorial – story before introducing yourself with your name and role. If possible, use this initial image as a thread for your presentation (metaphors, etc.). With an exciting opening story, your audience will hang on to your every word right from the start because it makes them curious for more. If you start with the usual “hello, my name is…” it will be much more difficult for them to remember you afterward.
  3. Keep your slides – if you use them – as simple as possible so that your audience listens to you. Anything that can’t be read at a glance will be read and thus distract from you and your content. Consider using formats other than just PowerPoint. There is a lot of energy and dynamism in using flipcharts or whiteboards because the content has to be “worked out” first and is not immediately visible.
  4. Preparation is everything. Practice, practice, practice – the more confident you are with your content, the more accessible you can talk and improvise. Memorize the first 3-4 sentences because this is when your adrenaline is at its highest, and after that, you’re in the flow.
  5. Do it like on TV and use moderation cards for your bullet points. Many of my coachees find it helps to have something in hand. On the one hand, your hand is busy – on the other hand, you can briefly look at it in case you lose the thread.
  6. Use your body language consciously. Present your content as naturally as possible, including gestures and facial expressions. Imagine meeting a colleague at the coffee machine and telling them about your topic.
  7. Incorporate rhetoric techniques into your presentation. These are both rhetorical questions (“What do you think will happen if the project fails?”) and other very powerful tools. A significant one is the pause. With pauses, you not only give yourself and the audience a chance to reflect/breathe, but you can also highlight certain passages.
  8. Interaction with the audience can also make your presentation more interesting. If there are people in the room you already know, you can address them directly – but make sure there is a balance between the participants. Or you can ask questions to the audience – but also be prepared to answer the questions yourself.
  9. Control your stage fright with relaxation exercises and thorough preparation. My favorite relaxation exercise is power posing, where you stand for about 1-2 minutes with your hands on your hips like Superman/woman. This pose causes a dopamine release in the brain because it can’t tell if you really feel that way. Doped with this hormone, the next few minutes go much easier for you. 
  10. And the most important thing in the end is to be yourself. Don’t try to put on a certain hat, and people will notice if you are not authentic, last presentation tip.

Virtual or offline

In my training, I am often asked if the presentation tips and tricks I present also work in virtual meetings like MSTeams, Zoom, or similar. Of course! Sure, you can’t move and walk around the laptop, but many things can be used one-to-one. For virtual meetings, it is important that you have a good camera (usually external), that it is at eye level, and also includes part of your upper body. Then, you can also gesture and emphasize your content. 

More than just for presentations

Many of the above ten presentation tips apply not only to presentations and speeches. You can also use them in everyday office life – in meetings. Try observing how others do things in meetings. Perhaps you will notice certain patterns. A classic, for example, is that participants occasionally spread their documents and laptops around them. What about you? How much space do you take up at the conference table? Even this non-verbal behavior is a form of communication.

Swiss and their presentations

I have worked in international companies for over two decades and cannot see any particular country-specific differences in presentation culture, even with the Swiss. For me, there are really only two types of presentations, the ones that captivate me and the ones where I want to leave the room again because they bore me or waste my time. I hope for a time when talks and presentations are more authentic and interesting, where it’s clear what the speaker stands for. And that is my goal with my work. How are you doing with this topic? How often have you asked yourself about the meaning and purpose of a presentation?

About the Author

As a Berliner, I have lived in Switzerland for over 13 years. After a long time in the Corporate World, I decided to take the next step into self-employment with my passion for people, presentations, and their impact. In the Corporate World (Big4), I was at home for more than 20 years in the area of proposals and supported my colleagues to show added value and benefit to the client – also in presentations. I addressed the insecurity felt there and initiated internal training to change this. My joy and success in this “work” convinced me to focus only on this. 

You can find Barbara Hesse via her company here. She is also on LinkedIn.





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