Giving a presentation to either your colleagues or clients can be a rather daunting task. You want to be able to create something that will have an impact on your audience, as well as something that people will remember long after you’ve delivered it. Finding the right balance between being captivating and informative, yet concise can be tricky – the last thing you want to do is overwhelm your listeners with information overlaod which can only lead them to switch off completely.
Giving a presentation to either your colleagues or clients can be a rather daunting task. You want to be able to create something that will have an impact on your audience, as well as something that people will remember long after you’ve delivered it. Finding the right balance between being captivating and informative, yet concise, can be tricky – the last thing you want to do is overwhelm your listeners with information overlaod which can only lead them to switch off completely. Here’s how you can produce and deliver a tip-top presentation that will knock everyone’s socks off.
Focus, focus, focus
Every time you create a presentation, you need to remind yourself constantly what your main aim is – you need to pick a focus and keep your eyes on it. Rambling can be a sign of lack of organisation or knowledge, or even worse, self-indulgence. You need to make sure that you’ve practised enough so as to offer as polished a delivery as possible. Knowing your audience is also key so take the time to do a little research before you start creating your presentation so as to mould it in such a way that it will appeal to your expected listeners. Try and stay on track during your delivery because a set focus will only contribute to you executing your presentation with precision.
Keep it clean and simple
Many people tend to make the mistake of thinking that more is more when it comes to presentations. However, the reality is the opposite: less, is in fact, more. If, for example, you have a PowerPoint presentation that consists of slides that are jam-packed with information, are overly complicated and don’t follow a set “look” throughout, chances are that people will find it hard to follow. Your slides should simply act as prompters – they are visual communication aids that are there to guide you through your presentation. The key is to keep slides concise and simple by using minimal wording and quality images (should you need them). An easy-to-follow structure will make it easier for your audience to take in the information you impart and to understand what you’re saying – without this, your presentation effectively becomes pointless. Going over-board, in this instance, is definitely not the answer.
Bring the passion
Not everyone can bring the pizazz when it comes to talking in front of a large crowd and it’s hard to come across as confident when you’re really anxious. However, passion is a different thing. If you’re passionate about your topic and believe strongly in what you’re delivering, this will shine through. Of course confidence plays a role here too, but it’s passion that will ultimately draw in your audience. Try and avoid a dull monotone delivery and pause for effect where you can. Pausing can very often signal to a room of listeners that the speaker is well and truly in control. If you can memorise your speech before do that as well, as it will show your effort and dedication, and as mentioned previously: practise, practise and then practise some more. Mistakes are to be expected but with practice you’ll end up knowing what you’re going to say so well, that it will come across more naturally and therefore be more engaging.
Sure, most of the time, presentations call for a certain level of professionalism, but this doesn’t have to mean that you become a robot that simply regurgitates some information to an audience. Including humour, when necessary, can prove to be quite effective, as will instances when you encourage the audience to question certain things. Reminding people that you are human after all, will help create an emotional connection that will draw people in and really help them to engage with your material.
Leave something to remember you by
No matter how brilliant your presentation was, people are likely to return to their usual routine afterwards. Leaving something physical behind can help people to remember you long after you’re done. You can leave a booklet, a pamphlet or even a little sample of the product you were promoting – whatever you decide, leave a little bit of you and your presentation behind.
Now that you’re armed with all you need to know about how you can create a killer presentation as well as how to ace that delivery, go on and make your mark. Good luck.
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