Anyone who’s given a big business presentation knows well how nerve-wracking the night before can be. With the big day looming over you, it can seem impossible to focus on anything else or, God forbid, get the sleep that you need. More likely, you’ll spend the entire evening biting your nails, then tossing and turning as you go over every aspect of the presentation.
This lack of sleep at such a crucial time is a problem for obvious reasons. At the very least, those dark circles under your eyes won’t do any favors for your professional appearance. Not to mention that a sleep-deprived mind may struggle even to string a sentence together, let alone wow those clients with a winning presentation to secure sales.
You could say, then, that those sleepless pre-presentation nights are something you want to put behind you. Of course, this is much easier said than done. There’s simply no getting around the fact that you’re liable to be nervous. But, there are steps you can take to increase your chances of sleeping like a baby despite the presentation hanging over your head. And, we’re going to look at them here.
Get ahead of the game
It’s never too early to start planning for a presentation. In an ideal world, you should aim to start getting everything together the moment you have a date set. Fail to do this, and you aren’t even going to see your bed the night before because you’ll have so much to do. Even if you did manage to squeeze all your plans into the day before, you wouldn’t be able to sleep due to all that adrenaline. Make sure it doesn’t happen by planning, planning, and planning more. Even if a presentation is months away, start working on it and dedicate a little time every week. That way, you can guarantee you make a great first impression, as well as freeing you to spend the evening before thinking about other things and getting yourself one step closer to a peaceful sleep.
Simplify your presentation processes
A lot of pre-presentation sleeplessness comes down to worries about what could potentially go wrong. Every time you close your eyes, you might imagine outdated slides appearing on screen and throwing you off course, or even your laptop crashing. But, these are worries which simply aren’t necessary in the modern world. That’s because the right software and storage options can simplify your presentation, and help you sleep at night. By turning to cloud storage solutions, for example, you can guarantee access to the presentation slides you need no matter how many computers in the office decided to crash on the day. It’s also well worth considering the software with which you develop your powerpoint slides themselves. Companies like Beautiful AI. provide a simple presentation software with tons of cool features which can simplify preparation and ensure that your slides automatically update as your business information changes. That means outdated slides will never haunt your presentations, or your sleep, again.
Forget the script
This one may seem a little out of the box. After all, isn’t your script the one thing which you have to steady yourself during those nervous hours before the big day? Perhaps not. In reality, you may fast find that you benefit from doing away with scripting. That’s because the urgent need to memorize a full script can add untold stress to any preparations. It’ll undoubtedly see you up until late going over and over every last word until you can recite the thing from memory. You’ll probably even keep yourself awake going over those rehearsed jokes and phrases. And guess what? The chances are that your mind will go blank the moment you stand up in that meeting room anyway. That’s why outlining is always preferable to scripting, no matter how much you think a script currently helps you. By developing an outline to guide you instead, you take a tremendous amount of responsibility off your shoulders. This way, you won’t have to stand in front of the mirror all night, and you’ll actually be able to sleep without all those words going through your mind. You might even come to find that your presentations seem more natural as a result.
Do a dress rehearsal
A dress rehearsal of a presentation might seem silly. This isn’t exactly a theater production, after all. But, you’d be amazed by how much a dress rehearsal before the end of the working day can help you to put your presentation behind you during the evening. By going through the process of a dress rehearsal, you’ll have a much better idea of everything from your presentation on the whole, to the environment in which you’ll be giving it. By ensuring team members sit in the chairs your clients will be filling, this could even feel like a less-pressured version of the real thing. In turn, that will help you to feel calmer about the coming big day. A dress rehearsal is also like drawing a line under your prep. After you’ve run through the presentation in its entirety, you’ll know 100% that you’re ready to go. And, that’ll go a long way towards stopping you from fussing and worrying about not being ready all night long.
Plan to arrive early
It’s going to be pretty difficult to sleep well if you know that you’ll be waking up and heading straight into your presentation. That’s why it’s also essential that you plan to arrive early. This makes sense from a business perspective anyway, as it ensures you never make the cardinal sin of showing up late. But, knowing that you’ll have an hour or two to set up in the morning can also be a huge help from a sleep perspective. That’s because you won’t need to straighten everything in your mind before you’re able to doze off. Instead, you can do that stuff in the morning when you’re refreshed and raring to knock your client’s socks off.