Some individuals jump at the chance to make presentations, whereas others detest the task. But no matter whether you love them, or you hate them, work presentations are something most people must do at some point in their professional lives, so iit can be very valuable to learn how to be a good presenter. Before you start preparing to deliver your next business presentation, review the following five tips to help ensure your demonstration is not only effective, but goes as smoothly and painlessly as possible.
1. Develop Content Wisely
- Create a story. Presentations can linger on and appear pointless when they display scattered information without context or underlying significance. Rather than bore your audience with facts and figures, use a story to express them.
- Shorten your introduction. A lengthy introduction can be counterproductive to your goal of capturing the audience’s attention, so do your best to limit your opener to a brief sentence or two.
- Make your presentation short and to the point. The longer your presentation continues, the more you risk losing your audience’s concentration. Make your display as compact and precise as possible without sacrificing important information. To sustain audience engagement, make sure to shorten it to at least half the length you first expected it to be.
- Use simple graphics. Too many complicated tables and charts do not help cultivate your listeners’ attention. Instead of attempting to dazzle with the use of graphics, animations, or fonts, put the spotlight on only the most important data points.
- Refrain from using fancy backgrounds. Presentations with fancy backgrounds can easily distract viewers from the main points of your display. Keep their focus in check and use a simple background style with neutral colors.
- Be simple. Rather than focusing on adding special effects, make your content simple in hopes of ensuring your audience remembers the message you want to communicate better than any other elements of your display.
2. Plan Your Presentation
- Check equipment carefully. If you must use equipment like a projector or laptop in your presentation to show videos or broadcast your presentation, double check beforehand to make sure everything is working as it should be.
- Concentrate on your audience. Ideal public speakers maintain their focus on the viewers rather than their notes. Keeping your eyes on your audience will compel them to concentrate on you and the point of your presentation.
- Eliminate all unnecessary or redundant slides or information before you make your presentation to avoid having to skip over them while you are on front of your audience, which will make you look unorganized.
- Be timely. Listeners can become distracted at certain times, so try to schedule your presentations around these points in the day. Always avoid making presentations at the end of a work day, before lunch hours, or a few days before a holiday.
- Have questions prepped. If you are planning on having a Q&A when your presentation is over, prepare a few questions ahead of times to get a head start at encouraging discussion. You can introduce prepped questions with phrases such as “I am frequently asked …” or “You may still be contemplating …”
- Make a handout. If there is information you want the audience to have during or after your presentation, make a handout to distribute before or after you talk.
3. Clarify Goals at the Beginning
- Present your viewers with the purpose or objective of your presentation at the beginning to help them connect the purpose with the material you talk about during your display. This will increase the chances of the energizing the audience to act.
4. Introduce Ideas With Memorable Quotes or Visuals
- To increase viewer engagement and make a lasting impact, introduce all separate topics and concepts with a related quote or image. Consider adding a sentence or two about the topic or say it out loud while allowing the image to speak for itself. These techniques not only help to break up the content of your presentation, but it will grant your topic more influence, as a relevant quote or visual will remain in the audience’s mind throughout your display as you introduce related material.
5. Make Your Closing Short and Sweet
- End your presentation effectively and incorporate a short closing after you complete your Q&A. Use this time to briefly touch on the vital points of your presentation and heighten the emphasis of your call to action.
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