Presentations are an inherent part of today’s work world. From sales pitches to why you except that pay hike by the end of this year, the goal is to instruct and persuade others. It takes preparation and practice to polish presentation skills. Here are 5 basic yet important tips that’ll over time increase your confidence and ability to engage audiences.
The message and the purpose should be clear
When presenters lack clarity in their main message and get deviated from the primary reason for presenting, they can become stretched and end up speaking about superfluous and non-relevant information. It becomes very important to build the presentation around the key message and the important supporting points the speaker is trying to convey.
Know your audience well
It is necessary to gather intelligence by analyzing the makeup of the audience before deciding on the structure of the presentation. Factors such as the group’s demographic makeup, mindset and level of understanding in terms of the topic are all crucial things to consider. Their attitudes, are they friendly or hostile? And whether the audience is comprised of people in various fields or just one are points of key concerns. Presenters who are already armed with all this information are better able to create the flow and design of the presentation according to the audience’ taste. After all, it’s them who have to be impressed at the end of the day.
The structure of the presentation has to be proper and topics should flow well
A poorly made presentation clearly shows a lack of understanding of the topic. Presenters should be confident about their content and allow it to flow smoothly from one topic to the next. It usually starts with an introduction which is incredibly important as it is when the audience first engages with the speaker. To break the ice the speaker can start with an anecdote or an amusing story as this outlines the purpose and the direction the entire presentation will take. The body of the presentation is where the bulk of the speaker’s data is presented. Make sure it flows well and is not choppy, jumping from one area to another and back again. The conclusion again has to be impactful. A quick recap of the purpose and the highlights of the presentation. Leaving the audience with a good impression should be the goal so that afterward they take the action which you desire them to.
Practice how to deliver
Delivery of presentation has a variety of aspects. For example, keeping eye contact and all across the room is very important rather than watching the floor or the horizon. Another aspect is the voice. It should be projected, right to the end of the room. Avoid monotones and or quiet voices of the unprepared. Third is smoothness in delivery. Well-practiced speakers come off as self-confident as uncomfortable silences detract from the message itself. Time the presentation well as audiences appreciate presentations that make the point clearly and concisely and not the one that seems to go on forever.
Get acquainted with PowerPoint
Although it’s a great presentation tool, not too many use it to the full potential. A PowerPoint slide with 14 to 15 bullet points, each consisting of two lines or sentences This leads to the speaker looking at the screen strictly and not the audience. Many features in PowerPoint can be used to enhance the message of the effect of the message. You can add animation to music or videos can be embedded from online sites to further engage audiences.
Today, most professionals big or small at some point need to make a presentation. So, professional presentation that’s well prepared and practiced following some basic guidelines that offer true value and enduring experiences to the audience.