11 tips to ace your next presentation
Got a short presentation coming up? It’s time to brush up on your public speaking and presentation skills.
1. Come in a little early to set up everything you need.
This not only allows you to familiarize yourself with the setting ahead of time, but also helps you detect and attend to any technical difficulties that might occur.
2. Do not overwhelm yourself with too many presentation slides.
Visuals should never steal the speaker’s spotlight. Try to convey your message with as little slides as possible and only include info that is crucial (such as main titles and useful images).
3. Avoid boring templates.
It’s time you give up cliché PowerPoint 2007 templates and make your own customized designs. We are not saying you should start a presentation template from scratch, but at least try to introduce a new twist to existing designs, in order to distinguish yourself from the other billions of speakers on the planet.
4. Do your research.
Going over the material quickly in your spare time is definitely not the way to go about it. Read as much as you can on the subject, but be selective in the information you share with your audience. Your aim is not to divulge everything you know but rather to get your ideas through smoothly.
5. Find your angle and stick to it.
Be focused, concise and straightforward in your approach. You should be able to formulate a short statement explaining your main objective(s) in the introduction and stick to it throughout the presentation, as this is one way of establishing your integrity as a speaker.
6. Engage with your audience.
This includes everything from maintaining proper eye contact with your audience to adapting your pace and tone of voice to the information at hand. Make sure to explain complicated technical terminology using simple terms and answer questions briefly but thoroughly. Your answer should never morph into a standalone presentation.
7. Dress to impress.
Do not just put on the first shirt that pops out when you open your closet in the morning. When there is no clear-cut dress code, go for something presentable that conveys your personal style.
8. Loosen the grip on your notes.
Reading large chunks of information from your notes is a definite no-no. Notes are only meant to be used occasionally for reference. You can also get rid of your notes altogether when you are fully comfortable with the material at hand.
Do not just rush through the whole thing at a rapid rhythm. Make sure to take pauses every now and then to pull your thoughts together and allow the information to sink in with the audience.
10. Talk to your reflection.
Feeling nervous about the delivery process? Rehearse your presentation ahead of time in front of the mirror. This will give you an idea of your flow as a speaker as well as the things you need to adjust in your body language.
11. Make it fun.
Do not be just another boring speaker. Try to have fun with the material whenever you can as this is guaranteed to bring you closer to the audience, while refraining from over-the-top humor.
Cover photo credit: Vermeirefinancialservices.ca