Presentations are a part of everyone’s working life. If you are lucky enough that you don’t have to give one, you almost certainly have to watch a few. For the employees that have to prepare presentations, I feel your pain. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong than a presentation that goes to plan. The amount of pride and satisfaction you take from a job well done is exhilarating. But, there is always the fear that it won’t go to plan. Presentations are easy to get wrong because, unfortunately, a lot of people fall into the most basic traps.
Don’t let that be you by following these simple and easy tips.
1. Be Confident
A lot of people are subject to fail before they have even started. Why? It is mainly because they don’t believe in their ability. Okay, you might not give presentations every day or be a presentation specialist. But, that doesn’t mean you are going to bomb automatically. When you hear that you have to give a presentation, let the dust settle. Then, tell yourself you are going to give the best presentation the room has ever seen!
2. Keep It Succinct
Simplicity is your best option when it comes to a presentation. I know it sounds frightening, but you shouldn’t put your whole presentation onto a PowerPoint. Your PowerPoint should be in the form of cue cards: little bullet points that prompt you to talk about your next theme. If there is a mass of info on the screen, it looks untidy and messy. More importantly, it will take your attention away from the audience as you will be tempted to read it in one big chunk.
3. Make Eye Contact
Your body language is going to make or break your presentation. There has not been one amazing presentation in their history that involved the presenter looking at the ground. Engaging the audience and an amazing presentation goes hand in hand, so you need to look at them and exude confidence. Remember that they cannot tell whether you are nervous or not, unless your body language lets the cat of the bag.
4. Use Visual Aids
Audiences react better to visual aids, which will markedly improve your presentation. Visual aids can come in many different shapes and sizes, so it is up to you which one you choose. The most conventional are paper handouts or overhead projectors. As the good people at Projectors will tell you, it is hard to give a PowerPoint presentation without one! In basic terms, your presentation needs will dictate what visuals to use.
5. Make It Short
Although you are talking to a room of adults, they still have the attention span of little children. After around thirty minutes, they will start to lose focus and get bored. Consequently, you don’t want your presentation to last any longer than half an hour. Feedback from presentations of the past suggests fifteen to twenty minutes being the optimal length of time.
And there you have it, the ultimate guide to the most effective presentation!