The idea of giving a presentation can be daunting but it’s something many professionals will have to do at some time or another, whether it be for a job interview or in the weekly Monday morning briefing.
Anyone who’s stood up and delivered a speech of some kind in front of total strangers, or indeed people you know relatively well, knows it is not an easy task and that it takes practice to get it right.
Delivering a good presentation also requires preparation and if you put in the time and research certain key areas then your chances of blowing away your audience increase immeasurably.
Think about who your audience will be
How many people will be there?
How much do they already know?
Are they there by choice?
What language will be most appropriate?
Prepare you material
Brainstorm all your ideas
Aim for no more than eight main points
Open with an inspiring, positive, attention-grabbing statement of intent
Make sure each part of the material has a purpose
A simple, effective plan for any presentation is to keep in mind the following:
- Tell them what you are going to tell them. Then they know what to expect and there will be no surprises and tell them what they will get from it.
- Tell them. Deliver the presentation as you have told them you will and invite questions throughout.
- Tell them what you have told them. Succinctly recap and review what you have delivered in the presentation and invite questions.
If used in the right way, visual aids are a fantastic addition to any presentation because if something is written down in a clear format it is often easier to understand. Here are some Do’s and Don’ts for using visual aids:
- Do keep each visual as simple as you can
- Do maintain eye contact with the audience. Resist the temptation to stare at your work.
- Do check the equipment for your presentation and have spares of everything.
- Don’t write everything down on the visual, leave yourself some things to say – it’s not a script
- Don’t use just one colour – vary between light and dark and texts and backgrounds.
- Don’t leave a visual up if you’ve finished talking about it.
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