Presentations are common in today’s workplace, whether it be one-on-one with your boss or in front of a larger audience. Regardless of the setting, a well-delivered presentation will have a lasting impact and contribute to your professional success. The following tips will prove helpful in making sure your presentation is both powerful and memorable.
- Know your Material and Know your Audience: This may seem like an obvious point, but knowing your own material and knowing to whom you are speaking, enables you to speak with confidence about the content while staying focused and on track.
- Clear Slides: When delivering a power point presentation, it is easy to get overwhelmed with information and try to put too much detail into the slides. This leaves the audience’s attention focused on reading the slides rather than listening to what you have to say. Keep it straightforward and be able to speak to the points that are written rather than relying on all the information being in the slides. The layout should be simple and easy to read; select the appropriate font size and don’t over clutter with graphics.
- Speech: During your presentation remember to speak slowly and clearly. Be articulate and don’t rush through the material to get the presentation over with. As you become more comfortable with presenting, you may want to open the floor for interactions with the audience; allow for questions and dialogue to keep participants engaged.
- Practice: Have confidence in yourself. Remember, for the duration of your presentation, whether it is 10 minutes or 2 hours, you are the expert! Practicing your presentation beforehand goes a long way in building your confidence. Going through your slides and rehearsing your script out loud allows you to discover any changes you’d like to make before the actual presentation.
- Eye Contact: Maintain eye contact with the audience. This shows that you know what you are talking about and delivers a much more memorable presentation than simply reading from your notes. If necessary, prepare some cue cards for yourself to maintain your focus and remind you of key points. Again, keep these simple so you are not reading.
- Questions: Prepare yourself for questions at the end of your presentation. Knowing your material will go a long way to you being able to properly answer questions that may arise. Also remember to admit if you don’t know the answer; it is much better to say you can get back to someone than to make something up!
- Dress Appropriately: Dressing well for a presentation makes you look like the professional you are while also giving you an added boost to your confidence.