7 Tips That Will Make You a Stronger Presenter
Some people live for giving presentations, while most people consider it their worst nightmare. In fact, the fear of public speaking is consistently listed as one of the most common fears people have. Whichever category you fall under, presenting to an audience is bound to occur at some time or another in your career. The challenge of facilitating remarkable presentations can be conquered with these 7 tips.
Always take the time to prepare. You should never wait until the last minute to start, regardless of the type of presentation. It helps to outline the structure of your presentation in a way that people can follow easily. Take the time to identify the content and goals of the presentation.
“By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”― Benjamin Franklin
2. Know Your Audience
Your audience should dictate the content you present, as well as your approach. It is important to know what your audience's interests are, what are their expectations, and level of understanding. When you identify these items you you can customize your presentation to them and be a more effective presenter. You need to be able to grab their attention and hold it, so knowing your audience is key.
Whether your presentation is short and simple or long and detailed, you should practice. When practicing, it can be beneficial to write everything down and avoid the temptation to keep it all in your head. Memorizing key points will allow you to know the content inside and out. As painful as it might be, it’s a good idea to rehearse in front of a mirror or in front of other people to make you more confident and comfortable during the presentation. Whether you are an experienced presenter or a novice, you can never practice too much.
4. Get There Early
On the day of the presentation, plan to get there early—really early. You will need to familiarize yourself with the room, setup, and run through your presentation to make sure there are no malfunctions. It is best to do this before your audience arrives so you are not rushing to get everything in place. Preparation and set up can do a lot to calm your nerves.
5. Provide Visual Aids
Visual aids such as PowerPoint, Prezi, Keynote or videos can be meaningful tools when used appropriately. They should be kept short and simple and help drive home key points. Don’t read from the screen because it gives your audience no reason to keep listening once they have read the slide on their own. Visuals are good for making an emotional connection but only if they are relevant.
6. Give a Performance
You don’t have to be an actor or a comedian to give a great presentation, but your audience doesn’t want to listen to someone who is too serious or monotone either. Smile, make eye contact and let your passion be visible. The audience will respond when you are able to clearly articulate the key points of your presentation and keep them engaged.
7. Create A Leave-Behind
Once the presentation is over, give them something to remember you by. Whether it is a handout or copy of the deck, make sure it's relevant and gives the audience something to refer to after they leave. Be sure to include your contact information and invite them to reach out to you with questions.
Regardless of your reason for giving a presentation, don’t be intimidated by the process. Presenting can be nerve-racking, especially if you don’t deliver them often, but you can alleviate some of the anxiety by following these 7 steps.
Have a big presentation coming up and need some help with your deck or creating that awesome leave-behind? Feel free to reach out to us at Texas Creative, we are happy to help. Check out our other blogs for more tips and useful information too!