Anyone can give a presentation. But giving an effective presentation requires a little bit of preparation and skill. Whether your goal is to be memorable, entertaining, convincing or simply clear, the tips below can help you improve upon your basic presentation skills and bring your presentation to the next level.
Here is a quick primer of what’s covered in the guidebook above:
Repetition is important. Repetition is important. Get the point? Every presentation is going to have a key point (or points) that you want to get across. Those points should be emphasized, in different forms, throughout your talk.
One big advantage of communicating in person is that both you and the audience can see each other and respond to non-verbal cues. So, don’t use a podium as a crutch, and don’t turn your back to the audience.
All the world may be a stage, but even the world’s greatest actors perform best when playing themselves. Instead of trying to be someone you are not, just be the best “you” possible.
Though you shouldn’t copy someone else’s personality, you can copy their ideas. Make the most of every opportunity, noting ideas or techniques used by other presenters that you would like to use (or mistakes you would like to avoid).
The same exact presentation could be a hit with one audience and a flop with the next. Tailor your talk to appeal to the personality and the goals of your target audience.
Part of knowing your audience is understanding what language to use. Don’t talk up to or down to them, and make sure you use terminology that they are familiar with.
Speaking in a monotone might be helpful if you are a hypnotist, but putting people to sleep is probably not the main goal of your speech.
It is easier on the audience’s eyes if you stand to the left of the screen. That way, they can read you and then read the screen in one continuous left-to-right scan.
The last thing they hear, and therefore the first thing they remember, should be a summary of the main points you have just covered.
It is your presentation, and whether it succeeds or fails is ultimately your responsibility.
Be sure to check out our other helpful presentation guides: