In this article, DeckRobot speaks about tips that will help you to make a great presentation and ensure that your nerves are kept to a minimum.
Put Yourself In Their Place
There is no doubt that during your life you have listened to a presentation that’s been a little long. When you start planning your presentation, be sure to think about who you are talking to. Are they experts or completely new to the subject? Build your presentation to match their knowledge and interest.
As Nick Morgan once said ‘The secret to happiness in public speaking is to let go of your ego and realize that the presentation isn’t about you speaking. It’s about the audience hearing something.’
With very long, exhausting speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with very little. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.
Make It Personal
Make it personal; cut out the ‘noise’. Make absolutely certain that everything you say during your speech is relevant to your audience and completely aligned with your message. There should be a reason why you are there and there should be a reason why you are so passionate about what you are talking about.
This may sound very basic but seriously, when it comes to great presentations, making it personal is fundamental. Tell some stories about what drove you down this path, what you have seen along the way, what wisdom you can share with your audience based on these observations. Speak from the heart and allow your eyes to sparkle as a result. It shows you are alive. It shows you care. It gives your audience the reason why they should pay attention!
Avoid Bullet Points
Bullet points pop up in most presentations and whilst they can be useful for the occasional list, it’s better to step away from the template if you want to stand out. Presentations with bullet points just don’t cut it anymore in the fast-paced, innovative, and multimedia world.
We are speaking about ‘6 Alternatives to Bullet Point Slides’ in the highlighted article, so make sure to read it to make your presentations more appealing and modern.
Images are very powerful and can help people to focus on really important points of your presentation. To make the right impact don’t use cheesy or poor quality pictures, infographics and icons. Stick to one sentence per page. Remember that your audience should be listening to what you are saying rather than reading.
Every presenter has a different time allocation. But what will make you stand out is how clearly you will set out your intention for your 10-, 30- and 45-minute presentations. Tell your audience what your speech is going to be all about, why are you sharing your wisdom and how that is going to look in your time on stage. It gives the listeners, the audience, a clear road map of what to expect. They will know what’s in it for them.
Get There Early
You don’t want anything to add to the stress of your presentation. If there’s traffic on the way or you can’t connect to the projector it could send you into a panic, so leave plenty of time. You want everything to go smoothly. The last thing you need is trouble with your PowerPoint presentation. From blank screens to unwanted audio interference, tech problems plague speakers every day. Fortunately, with a little preparation, you can avoid a crisis and keep cool, knowing you have it all under control. Instead of panicking just get on the venue earlier and check everything.
A Good Presentation Has A Good Pace
If you are trying not to sound like everyone else, start by picking up your pace. When people get nervous they can speak quickly or trip over their words. Although you might like it to be over quickly, it is worth taking your time when you speak. Whatever there is a good chance that you are “traveling” at a speed that you are uncomfortable with. If you sense you might be one of those who has their mouth engaged before their brain we suggest you take a few deep breaths before you start and articulate. If you want to emphasize a point, then add a pause.
“The right word may be effective,” Mark Twain once said, “but no word was ever as effective as a rightly timed pause.”
Use A Healthy Dose Of Humor
In the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be a joke, an anecdote, a fun fact about you, or dropping off a bombastic statement - whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference.
A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.
It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works.
Presentation and public speaking skills are something that need regular fine-tuning and plenty of practice. The more you do, the better you get. It’s a skill, and with the right direction, you can become a presenter who leaves that lasting impression. No one enjoys a cookie-cutter presentation. Thankfully, there are ways to stand out from the crowd by using one or even all of the techniques DeckRobot has listed in this article.