Doing a presentation is not easy. Standing in front of a roomful of people who are waiting to hear what you have to say, can be unnerving to say the least. Here are eight tips to help you deliver your next presentation in a memorable and successful way.
#1 Stay Calm: People can tell when you’re nervous. If you catch yourself talking too fast, avoiding eye contact or sweating, make sure to pause and collect your thoughts.There is nothing wrong with taking a moment for yourself. If you are still nervous, fake confidence. This is a surefire way to achieve actual confidence.
#2 Practice Your Speech: Rehearsing your speech with a friend will help solidify it in your mind. Doing this, will give you a good idea of how you sound to others. It will also bring forth the areas that need improvement such as tone of voice, projection and body language. Being prepared, will boost your confidence and increase your chances for success.
#3 Use Graphics & Images: Nowadays, there are many options for programs that let you engage your audience. You may choose to use something like Prezi or PowerPoint to illustrate your key ideas. Colourful photographs and charts are also great for keeping your listeners awake, interested and engaged. Remember to appeal to a variety of learning styles. At the same time, try not to overwhelm prospective clients with too much information. All content should be useful and concise.
#4 Make It Memorable: Don’t lose track of your main points.Present your arguments clearly, pose questions and give answers. The trick here, is to make it memorable for your audience. Handouts are another way to ensure that people remember what you presented and can refer to it later. Who knows you might even get points for doing a little something extra to add to the wow factor.
#5 Familiarize Yourself With the Space: Take a look at the space you’re in. Notice the layout of the room. Its often helpful if the overall feel of the room, reflects the mood that you want to project in your presentation.Think about the idea or product you’re selling, ask to be in a spot that allows for the kinds of interactions, breakout groups and discussions that you’re looking to have with your audience. Have easy access to all the equipment you’ll need to have your presentation go without a glitch, such as a projector or a flipchart.
#6 Imagine You’ll Impress: Think positive. Setting yourself up for success is a simple matter of telling yourself that you will do nothing less than impress. Keep upbeat and don’t forget to smile. This will help your audience relax and let you begin to feel comfortable with your attendees. Having a friendly disposition signals to others, that you are uninhibited and open for dialogue.
#7 Look Professional: Dress for success; I would say business casual. When presenting stand up tall with your shoulders back and facing the front. Positioning yourself slightly to the left of your projector will create an inviting atmosphere and people will be able to see exactly what you’re doing. This will also boost your confidence.
#8 Finish Strong: Save your strongest points for last. Have a closing statement that inspires, motivates and surprises your audience. Built people up to an unexpected reveal or offer a worthwhile incentive. Make your call to action sound genuine and authentic. Better yet, leave your audience coming back for more. You want people to continue the discussion outside the event. Momentum is critical, so don’t miss your chance to stir up some action.
These are your guiding points to a successful presentation. I hope they will serve you well in preparing you for the business world. Visit wizof.biz for more fabulous business tips and advice or to get personalized advice on your next presentation script or visuals.
Image Creative Commons courtesy NASA Goddard