Today, in most fields, presenting information clearly and effectively is an incredibly desired skill.
Whether you are a student, administrator or sales executive, if you wish to start up your own business or apply for a grant, you may well be asked to not only create a presentation but also present it. Understandably, this could be a daunting prospect, yet our blog aims to help you achieve this with ease.
Know your audience
Understanding the needs of your audience can help you tailor your presentation to target their interests and explain how your company can be of use in their specific situation. Whether this be with the use of facts, figures, or using their logo to incorporate an example of a design, it all goes towards helping you create a memorable presentation.
Your opening should be something that makes a connection with the audience. It can be a story, a question, or statistic. Avoid introductions of yourself or your team.
Try to stick to your three most important points. It's more important to engage the audience than overload them with everything you know. It’s a good idea to leave some information out, as it is likely that what you don't cover in your presentation will come up when you take questions.
Keep your aim in mind. You don't have to write out your presentation word for word, instead just remember to refer back to your main points and working toward your desired outcome. It’s important to present both sides of an issue as you will appear more credible if you acknowledge your competitors or any opposing arguments. After you've explained the other side, you can spell out exactly why your company is better or your argument is stronger.
The closing of your presentation is the last opportunity you have to give your audience something to remember. You can then refer back to your opening or end on a clever slogan or a call to action.
Remember to smile
Smiling increases endorphins, replacing anxiety with calm and making you feel good about your presentation. Smiling also exhibits confidence and enthusiasm to the crowd.
Practice... but don’t memorize
Like anything, practice makes perfect, therefore you’ll want to ensure you have left enough time to rehearse your presentation a number of times. While it may seem difficult or sometimes even pointless, it’s essential if you want to deliver a presentation that is going to give you results.
Tip: It’s a good idea to write your speech, or even write bullet points to prompt you when speaking.
Your environment often has a bigger impact on your delivery than you think, therefore experts recommend rehearsing your presentation in various environments, in order for you to feel comfortable with your speech. Try and do a practice run, presenting in front of a friend, colleague or family member, or even record your presentation and play it back to evaluate which areas you need to improve.
Engage with the audience
Remember to engage with the audience. If you have the chance, talk to the people you will be presenting to get a feel of the audience. This will make it easier when presenting and inviting any questions. Welcoming audience participation can boost engagement and make attendees feel like part of a conversation. It also makes you, the presenter, seem much more relatable. Don’t be put off by unexpected questions – instead, see them as an opportunity to give your audience what they want.
Learn from others
Why not attend some conferences? This will allow you to see how others present and understand what potential you detail you could include in your presentation. If you are unable to attend conferences, there's some great examples on YouTube.
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