At some time in your life it is likely that you will have to make a presentation, whether work related or for a social occasion, most remain fearful but elated by the success once completed. It is a life skill and if you follow a few simple guidelines can be quite fulfilling.
Presentations are about communicating information so doing the groundwork and knowing your subject will help you to enthuse and if appropriate move your audience to action. It will also make you confident and help steady those nerves.
Understand your audience – Who are you looking to attract and who might attend, make sure your presentation is relevant and think about the skills they may have this will help with your content and also help to keep your audience engaged.
Set up – Always arrive before your audience make yourself familiar with the location and any electrical equipment you may be using, you don’t want to end up showing a picture of Aunt Bessie at last year’s family Christmas party instead of your financial report! Make time to have a quick run through.
Using Power Point and other Visual aids – This is a great way to illustrate or strengthen your point and to follow structure, but don’t get distracted. When making reference to the power point, graph, picture or whatever stand to the side and avoid putting your back to your audience.
Inflection – Change the tone and volume of your voice, smile if you are saying something amusing this will all help to maintain your audience’s attention and interest in your subject matter. Don’t talk to fast, learn to pause and be enthusiastic about your subject.
Eye Contact – Maintain eye contact during your presentation with members of the audience this will give personal emphasis to what you are saying and make them intent on listening.
Structure – Have a clear structure. Have an introduction so people really understand what your presentation is about and what they can expect. Use facts to delivery your message and conclude with a recap and summing up and make all points relevant and avoid lots of unnecessary detail.
Questions – If it is a good question acknowledge that is as it shows they have been interested in what you have been saying. However , don’t pretend to know something if you don’t, If someone asks a question and you really don’t know the answer be truthful and say that you will find out and get back to them , but make sure then that you do .
Chanel you nerves – try to relax, stand rather than sit and move around a little if possible.
Time Management – Time yourself, know how long your slot is and don’t run over. Keep an eye on the time.
Rehearse – Practice will help you feel prepared.
Present your self – Think about what you might wear, something that makes you feel good and give yourself plenty of time to get ready and arrive refreshed. Don’t forget to thank you audience and your host for their time and help, you might want to return.
So bearing the above in mind go out to do the best you can, take a deep breath and stay focused and you never know you might actually enjoy it!