10 tips for giving a First Class Presentation

Many clients ask me what makes a good presentation and how to give one,They are often worried about not seeming professional. Well I think anyone can give a presentation, there are only a few simple rules and like anything if you spend valuable time preparing then anything is possible. I have compiled this list of points to give you a helping hand when you are presenting.

1. Making the presentation interesting:

Know your subject and the topic, of course you will have done your research before you begin your presentation.
Rehearse in front of yourself (try a mirror, you will see your body language), and in front of your colleagues or co-presenters.
The introduction is very important, make sure you use this opportunity to grab your audience’s attention.
Explain the main of objectives of your presentation. Give some key points that you will address and tell the audience how long the presentation will last. Make sure your presentation flows well and if you have visual aids do they support each of your points.
Your conclusion must be strong and it will give you a chance to re-emphasive anything you said in your introduction.

2. Your Confidence:

You are the expert on this topic as you have all your research material in front of you. This makes you the most knowledgeable person on your presentation in the room. You are sharing your knowledge, so have nothing to be afraid of.
Do not be tempted to say this is your first presentation or you do not normally do this. You are a professional.
If you blank out or forget something, take time to gather yourself as your audience will think it is part of the presentation.
Do not worry, you can pick up again after checking your notes or cue cards.

3. Self Presentation:

Present yourself well, smartly, dress well and feel good about yourself. Makeup and a haircut is a good idea. I know it sounds lie a cliche but guys, don’t forget to comb your hair and take a breath mint. Try and avoiding garlic or drinking the evening before.
You are as important as what you are presenting.
If you can avoid a stage or podium do so, as simply standing when your audience sits is good enough. Of course when you are public speaking a platform and the microphone is something you will have to get used to.

4. Sharpen up your voice:

It is important to remember to breathe, do not hold your breath. Breathing also helps control the volume of your voice. The shorter you become of breath the quicker you will speak, so relax and pause often. Make the speed of the presentation comfortable for you and your breathing. Change the pitch of your voice at times, this will add interest. Try to learn to listen to yourself,  you will be able to control your pitch and tone more easily. Doing this you can also avoid saying er or urm.

5. Body Language:

Your body language is important, When introducing your presentation, smile and look at the audience. Always keep eye contact and smile until your cheeks hurt! This will demonstrate you are confident. It is much more interesting to listen and support a happy person than a glum one.
Look at your audience and keep eye contact, this alone is a great method of communication. Gesture with your hands, to some this comes naturally so don’t be afraid to use this method of communication. Keep your hands out of your pockets. I would suggest a straight posture, shoulders back, you will not look tense or nervous and will feel in control also.

6. Visual aids:

Many people like to have visual aids to help with their presentation, just make sure you keep them simple and minimise the amount of words on any powerpoint slides. Use large fonts and list your key points. Colour should be used and the slides should be designed by a professional, not your assistant. Hand outs are a good idea, preferable after your presentation although they can be a good supplement whilst giving your presentation as long as you like the sound of rustling paper!

7. Terminology and acronyms:

Don’t be too arrogant with your terminology, communicate with your audience in a language they can understand.
Keep your phrases and “tech” talk to a minimum and explain each acronym, just in case someone is not familiar with it. You can then continue with the acronym for the rest of the presentation.

8. Nervous:

If you put in the effort in the points we have spoken about, then this will reduce your nervousness. A good warm up is to take a few deep breaths as it will help pace yourself. 
Make sure you eat before you present, nerves come from a rise in adrenalin, eating and /or brief exercising can counteract this. Think positive as this will pep you up, think of three reasons why the audience should listen to you.
Don’t be nervous or shy, the audience are waiting to learn something from you. They are not waiting for you to make a mistake or slip up.
If there is a software or hardware glitch, with any luck someone else can deal with the problem whilst you can continue.

9. Question time:

Try to think of some sample questions and see how you deal with them. If you can refer a question back to something you have said in your presentation, then that will be even better, but don’t sound condescending, the questionee may have missed that point.
If someone answers a question you cannot answer, either direct the questionee to a colleague that is better equipped in that area or ask if you can come back to this in more detail after the presentation, then go to them with a colleague.

10. Wrapping the presentation up:

When you are wrapping up, thank your technical assistant especially if you don’t know them and of course your co-presenters, then finally thank the audience for their patience and for listening.

Copyright © 2009 creative images sro.

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