Giving a presentation can strike fear in the heart of even the most seemingly confident person. However, presentations may be necessary in the workplace, at seminars, and in a number of professional situations. You want your audience to hang on to your every word and remember what you say, so use the 8 steps below to give a presentation that truly wows.
Connect With Your Audience By Sharing Your Passion
The best way to connect with your audience is to let the passion you have for the subject matter shine through as you give your presentation. Don’t be afraid to show your enthusiasm, as this can be infectious and the audience will stay gripped. Honesty is important too. You have to believe in what you’re saying!
2. Know What The Audiences Needs Are
Knowing the needs of your audience will help you to construct the perfect presentation. What do they need? What do they want to know? It’s a good idea to remain focused on the response of your audience as you give the presentation so you can tweak further presentations or know what to give them more of as you go.
3. Use Helpful And Attractive Prompts And Slides
Using attractive prompts and slides helps both you and the audience. It’ll help you to know what point you’re making next, and give your audience something nice to look at and remember as they listen to you. There are many platforms that allow you to visualize your ideas in an instant using slideshows. Bear in mind that generally, your slideshow should:
- Contain no more than 10 slides
- Last no more than 20 minutes
- Use a font size of no less than 30 point
Your slideshow should contain less information, rather than more. It is there to help you express what you are telling the audience as simply as possible. The idea is that the slides would not be of much use without you, the presenter. Remember that!
4. Know Your Key Message
What do you want the core takeaway of this presentation to be? Keep it simple as you focus on your key message. Always keep your key message in mind as you plan and write your presentation. Try not to go off topic too much, unless it’s helping you to construct a really interesting point/story.
5. Tell A Story
Stories encourage people to pay attention and to remember things. We love telling stories, listening to stories, and even constructing our personas and lives around stories! If you can tell a story with your presentation, it’s far more likely that the audience will remember what you are telling them and stay engaged throughout.
6. Know How To Use Your Voice
Using your voice effectively is key. You should emphasise changes in pitch and tone when your presentation calls for it, vary the speed at which you talk, and avoid using a monotonous voice for the best results. The way you use your voice will help you to hold the audience’s attention and make your presentation far more interesting.
7. Don’t Forget About Body Language
Communication is also non verbal, so whatever you do, don’t forget about body language. Your body language is a crucial element in helping you to get your message across. Make open and confident gestures as you speak, and move naturally. Even move through the audience if possible! Avoid pacing back and forth, crossing your arms, having your arms behind your back, or hands in your pockets. These are signs that you are aloof, not interested, nervous, and so on.
This part can be easier said than done, but practicing relaxation beforehand will help. Pause for breath as you speak – don’t rush through what you’re trying to say. Not only will it be difficult for the audience to get engaged and focus on your message, you may end up muddling your words.
Drink plenty of water so that you stay hydrated and take it on stage with you if you need to. Practice deep breathing exercises beforehand and notice how they make you feel more at ease. You will always do a better presentation when you are relaxed. Remember, your audience are just like you. It might even help you to visualize the presentation in as much detail as possible for a few weeks beforehand so you can get comfortable with the feeling of being up there.
If you practice the above pointers enough and you believe in what you’re saying, you should find that you are far less nervous when it comes to give the presentation – and your audience will love it!