All eyes are on you, whether you’re presenting to one person or a room full of people. Bask in the spotlight by following our five tips for awesome work presentations.
Focus, Focus, Focus
We can only concentrate for so long before we go all glassy-eyed, so keep your content focused on the topic you’re presenting about. The topic should be interesting to your audience, so research the people you’re presenting to – what are their demographics, interests, and why are they attending your presentation? The answers to these questions will help you to tailor to your audience and keep them interested. Finally, organise your presentation so that your audience can follow it clearly. It should include an introduction, the key points and a conclusion, with actionable insights if possible. Leave time for questions and discussion at the end.
Tell compelling stories
Your presentation needs to connect with the audience, otherwise they won’t remember your message or call to action. Use stories to create emotion. These might be your own real-life examples or success stories from similar circumstances. Include humour if appropriate, and thought-provoking questions to spark ideas and conversation. Your stories should be authentic and tailored to your audience. New starters at a company will benefit from different information than a boardroom of senior managers.
Get your body language right
A successful presentation isn’t all about what you say, and the way you say it also plays a part. Once you’ve written your presentation, rehearse enough that you feel comfortable reciting your key points without notes. Use your hands to emphasise your point, and maintain eye contact with your audience. Practice really does make perfect when it comes to presenting.
Diversify your content
Good presentations use a mixture of content to keep the audience engaged. This might be in the form of videos, images, graphs or performers. Use mixed media to enhance your presentation, but make sure these are complementing what you actually say, and not distracting from the message. If you’re presenting in a new space, test your equipment before your audience arrives, so that you don’t experience any technical difficulties during the presentation. There’s nothing worse than having a video that won’t play or a slide deck that won’t load, when you’ve got a room full of people waiting for you.
Make them remember you
Create a leave-behind, so that your audience has a quick reference tool for your presentation, including your key points and findings. You might want to include a promotion, such as free access to exclusive content. For a work presentation, include your suggestions for action based on the presentation, or statistics about how your ideas could save money, improve productivity etc. Most importantly, include your contact details so that you are available for follow-up questions.
Follow these tips to master the art of giving presentations, and get ahead in your career.
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