Throughout your academic and professional lives, giving presentations will undoubtedly be required of you at some point. A presentation can be given in a variety of ways, but there are a few simple skills you can learn that will boost your confidence and engage your audience. Many people spend their entire lives studying how to present, so being patient and allowing yourself to make mistakes will help you get better at it.
Use the following advice to create a presentation that will pique your audience’s interest:
Keep it simple in your presentation
When putting together your presentation, keep in mind that less is more. Many presenters follow the “10-20-30” rule, which recommends to use 10 slides or fewer, keep your presentation under 20 minutes, and use at least 30-point type. This makes it simpler to make sure that your presentation is succinct, understandable, and focused. The success of the presentation is primarily influenced by your voice, explanations, and body language rather than the presentation’s actual contents.
You should also try to keep your main points to three or less, as well. Mention the most important points at the beginning and end of your presentation to make sure that the audience remembers them.
Get ready and exercise
Once your presentation is complete, take some time to write your talking points. It might be helpful to enlist the aid of a few trustworthy friends or coworkers for a trial run in order to do this. Ask for honest feedback on your demeanor, manner of speaking, body language, and other presentation-related aspects from others.
Be careful to practice your speech; do not attempt to memorize it. Even if you have every word of your speech memorized, if you are nervous or miss a few words, it may be easy to stray from your topic. Instead, prepare a few concise talking points to help you deliver your presentation. When you communicate, be sincere and sure of your knowledge.
Make a good opening and tell tales
If you want to keep your audience interested for the duration of your presentation, it can be helpful to write a strong, intriguing start. Regardless of the strategy you opt on, make sure it is relevant to your presentation and supports the main point you want your audience to take away from it. Several methods for doing this are listed below:
- Present an engaging question, problem, or story
- Mention a notable or significant individual
- Relate a story to the main idea of the presentation
- Showcase an intriguing statistic, graph, or image
- Introduce your talk with a little video
- Make a statement that catches the audience off guard or surprises them
Using stories to illustrate concepts, ideas, or information is a fantastic way to make it more relevant. It gives background information, which improves the audience’s understanding and capacity to connect with your presentation. Again, just include anecdotes that will support and strengthen your main points.
If you come across as passionate about the topic or information you are sharing, the audience will be attentive and interested. People enjoy listening to presenters who are really excited about sharing their knowledge.
Look for a mentor or act like other motivating people
Listening to other fantastic speakers may be helpful, even if you should surely develop and display your own distinctive speaking style. A good presenter at your company is someone you should ask to be your mentor. Outline your goals and the results you anticipate from the cooperation.
In addition, there are a ton of online courses, tutorials, and other tools for improving presentation skills. Spend some time researching other presentations, then incorporate the elements that you find most convincing.
Make use of your facial expressions, body language, and eye contact
Nonverbal cues should also complement the information you are giving, even though the written and spoken parts of your presentation are absolutely important:
- When giving a presentation, move slowly about the floor or stage rather than remaining static.
- If at all possible, stay away from a podium or table; ensure that your activities add to the presentation rather than take away from it.
- Make eye contact with the audience to make your presentation more personable and conversational.
- Use movements and facial emotions to support your ideas while describing an idea or displaying excitement for a topic.
- Stand up straight, shoulders back, and arms spread to convey confidence and to welcome the audience to your presentation.
If you can use visuals to support or clarify a point in your presentation, do so. Infographics, charts, photographs, films, sketches, or renderings might also be helpful, even though you’ll likely have slides to visually enhance your presentation. If doing so makes things more difficult or confusing, err on the side of simplicity and understanding in your presentation.
Encourage your viewers
Ask yourself, “What would make this learning experience the most enjoyable and successful possible?” while you plan and deliver your presentation. Moving about the stage, delving into greater detail on a difficult concept, or engaging the audience in some way are all examples of how to do this.
As you interact with and converse with your audience throughout your presentation, be true and genuine. Talk to your audience, not at them, at all times.
One way to engage your audience is by speaking with a strong voice. Avoid speaking in a loud voice that makes it difficult for your listeners to hear you or concentrate on you.
You can assess your loudness by practicing your presentation in the available space beforehand with trusted friends or coworkers who can provide feedback on your speaking voice. If you have trouble speaking calmly and confidently at a respectable volume, think about using a microphone of some kind. Before using it, test the microphone and any associated equipment.
Unwind and have fun
To generate and deliver knowledge to an individual, a small group, or a huge audience, it takes a tremendous amount of work. Enjoy the process; it will help you provide a better presentation. If you’re feeling nervous, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your fists on your hips, your head held high, and a smile on your face. This increases confidence and reduces anxiety. Repeatedly take deep breaths.
Treat yourself to something special after your speech. Celebrate your accomplishments and, when you’re ready, look for honest feedback to enhance your upcoming presentations.