Presentations don’t just communicate an idea, but also help start conversations and build relationships. To deliver a good presentation, you need to realize that presentation skills are as important as the information being presented. And remember, it’s not always the facts that sell; it’s more likely the presentation.
Below are some useful tips to power up your presentation and gear up that presenter persona in you!
Good presentations come from good preparation. Great presenters not only prepare, but practice a lot. Plan ahead and prepare your information with the visuals to go along with it. Researching on your audience will help you present in ways that target their interests. So what makes a presentation work? It’s simple – you have to make sure it never gets boring. So try to make the best use of your time and space. In your notes, only write down key points that you wish to elaborate while presenting. Unless you want your audience to sleep, don’t read from the paper or notes, it’ll only make you sound monotone and boring. Be entertaining and informative, instead of reciting facts. Practise makes perfect is the mantra here, practice out vocally and loud as much as you can, but don’t memorize. Rehearsing and memorizing are two different things.
People love to listen to presenters who are engaging and interesting. Hooking the listeners with an effective opening that creates an emotional relationship will increase your chances of success in giving a great presentation. A good idea is to start your presentation with something light-hearted, like a funny story. During my days in design school, there was this one lecturer who made self-deprecating jokes while presenting, but believe it or not, we loved attending his lectures! No, we’re not suggesting you to do the same (though it works!) but being an entertaining speaker is an added advantage. Another way to gain the attention of your listeners is to outline what you are going to talk about, why and what are your aims and objectives.
In presentations, the tone of voice matters. Project your voice to all corners of the room with confidence. Be loud and clear. Don’t use words like ‘’um’’, ‘’ah’’ or ‘’you know’’. In addition, speak slower than you normally do – this makes it audible and easier for listeners to digest what you are saying and also gives them time to think and reflect! Studies show that chances of attitude change are higher when the presenter is emotionally aroused and enthusiastic about the material they deliver. Here’s a tip for that, try to practise talking like your favourite entertainment personality.
Visuals are important if you wish to create an impact in your presentation. They illustrate and emphasize your ideas. They help focus attention and make your presentation livelier. Besides visual aids, colour, balance, contrast and use of repetition can make your presentation more interesting. This won’t go wrong, we all love pictures!
Beat the anxiety
Some of the world’s famous presenters have freely admitted to nervousness and stage fright. Mark Twain said ‘’There are two types of speakers; those that are nervous and those that are liars’. Even experienced speakers tend to have presentation anxiety. While it’s normal to feel nervous before presenting, this can be disruptive to your continuity. The best way to combat nervousness is practice, practice and more practice. Mike Aguilera, a communication expert suggests changing the word ‘presentation’ to ‘conversation’ to ease off things. Turn that nervousness into positive energy. Consider your presentation to be a normal conversation than a ‘formal’ speech. And don’t worry, with experience, you build confidence, and with time, your levels of anxiety will decrease. Be patient and don’t let go of any presentation opportunities that come your way.
And finally, it’s important to enjoy your presentation. Presenting with passion will motivate your audience to learn and listen, and ask questions.
Here’s wishing you a killer presentation!!