On Tuesday, October 23rd, The Wall Street Journal published an entire section on Women in the Workplace. One particular article caught my eye: Women are Leaning In, Now Companies Need to Lean in Too, by Sheryl Sandburg (COO of Facebook and Author of Lean In) and Rachel Thomas. Their article indicated that men are still far more likely than women to get that first promotion to manager.  The following summarizes why.

One critical skill that is a must for women (and men) in getting that first manager job is the ability to communicate your ideas verbally.  The ability to present yourself and your ideas in front of an audience is an influential and effective way to demonstrate your leadership skills for that manager position.

The most common reason I hear from people about why they avoiding presentations is fear and anxiety.         Here are some guidelines to help you manage those nerves.

Prepare.  You have to put the work in. If you take the time and prepare your content and delivery you have earned the right to feel more confident.

Practice.  You don’t have to practice the entire presentation (we don’t always have time for that).  But always make sure to practice the key points, how you want to open and how you will close.

Butterflies are OK.  People assume that to be a great presenter you should never be nervous.  Not true.  You should always have some butterflies – it means you’re human and know how important it is.  The key is to make sure those butterflies are controlled enough that the audience doesn’t notice your nervousness.

Remember your past success.  Even if you are at the beginning of your career, you have had success in the past that you can reference.  Remember that successful presentation moment and build from there.

Prepare.  This is so important I am putting it on the list twice.

Use a presentation to get you the visibility you need to secure an interview for a management position.  So lean in and go for that promotion!