Presentations are a challenging experience. At university, at work, anywhere - the thought of standing in front of a room full of people and speaking can be terrifying . Will you slip up, be boring or just fail to impress? Hopefully, these tips gathered from my own experience of presenting may give you one or two ideas on how to add some flare to your next presentation…
Starting a presentation can be an tricky thing. Beginning by reading from the slide can be a bit awkward. I find it’s best to introduce yourself by saying who you are and explaining what your presentation is about and what your objectives are (what your audience will learn). Make sure to start with a friendly tone to make your audience relaxed and comfortable.
It’s important to engage with your audience. Asking a general question about your topic not only helps to introduce it, but also intrigues your audience and gets their mind working. Make sure the question is not overly complex as you need a quick response. If you struggle to get a response from a room of half-tired students, pick someone out to answer.
Don’t think of your presentation as being stood in front of a whiteboard and projector. Instead, think of it as being onstage and you are an actor. You have to entertain. Don’t be stuck behind the desk with one hand clutching notes and the other hovering over the mouse. Instead, move out from behind the desk, make eye contact and think about your body language - use your hands and have a confident but relaxed demeanour. Most of all be happy and enthusiastic about what you are talking about.
Standing up in front of people and making sure you don’t slip up and embarrass yourself is likely to be running through your mind when presenting. But, this is the wrong way to go about it. Just keep calm and relax. Confidence and keeping a cool head will impress your audience.
It’s always a nice touch to add a video clip or a piece of audio into your presentation. But be careful and make sure to make things snappy. The last thing you want is it eating to much of your presentation’s precious time limit.
Nothing makes a presentation easier than actually knowing it inside and out. You’ve done researched and written it, but make sure you know what will be coming up. This way you won't be left struggling to collect your thoughts on the day. Go through it a couple of times and perhaps make notes to remind you of some important points.
So the presentation has gone well and you’ve been a confident presenter with a smile plastered on your face, but now it's time to end. The important thing is to not merely drift off. Leave on a confident high note by thanking everyone for listening to you and then leave open for any questions.
What do you do to make your presentation stand out? Let us know in the comments!