Picture this scenario: It’s Monday morning and you have a presentation to prepare later in the week. In an ideal world, you would have days and weeks to focus on giving a good presentation. But reality sets in, you check your calendar and realize that it’s due for the next day! Time is of the essence and you have several obligations to take care of.
So, how do you put together an impactful presentation worthy of your audience’s time?
The best speeches and presentations are delivered effortlessly and are the result of meticulous planning. Whether it’s a classroom presentation, a contest, or a business presentation, you should be fully prepared. A well-researched presentation will definitely make you feel more confident.
Here are 5 key points to keep in mind when preparing for a good presentation:
1. Consider your audience and focus on their needs
Consider the age, gender, profession and many other factors of your audience. While the use of jargon is necessary, try to include easier, layman terms and explanations.
Your presentation needs to be created around how your audience will benefit from it. It’s not about what you can tell them, but more about what they need and want to know.
2. Right topic
Once you know your audience, you need to choose a subject matter. When choosing the right topic, keep in mind the time factor. Select a topic that you know and understand well and can present easily. Your topic leads to your core message and this is what your presentation aims to deliver to your audience.
3. Concentrate on your core message
Your speech or presentation can have more than one key message, three is ideal. The more messages you have, the more complicated your talk will be and your audience will not remember it as much. Focusing on the core messages also allows you to build your content in the right manner.
4. Create an outline and then your content
Research your topic and then prepare an outline to build on your talk. A proper structure helps you deliver your core messages effectively. Without a framework, your speech will lack substance the audience will lose interest. Include the right resources which will enhance the delivery of your presentation.
5. Practice, practice, and practice
Rehearsing is the final step in your preparation. Practicing your content, eye contact, and gestures makes you a master of your speech. Allot enough time for practicing and make sure you get feedback from others, too.
Now that you’ve laid the groundwork, here’s what you need to keep in mind during the presentation:
1. Strong introduction
Start out with a powerful and impactful introduction. The beginning is crucial and sets the right tone for a good presentation. You need to get your audience’s attention within the first five minutes of your speech. Telling a story, asking a question, or trying a warm up activity are sure shot methods to pique their interest.
2. Connect with your audience
Engage with your audience by maintaining direct eye contact. While it’s comforting for the audience, it also shows that you are confident and know what you are talking about. Let your passion for the subject matter shine through.
3. Effective use of voice and body language
Speak clearly, don’t rush your speech, and give enough pauses. Create variations in your tone to hold your audience’s interest. Body language is crucial, too, so make sure your gestures are open and confident. Do move around the stage to connect with the audience, however, avoid crossed arms and putting your hands in your pockets.
4. Tell stories and use humour
Use stories in your presentation. It helps build a personal connect with your audience. You can start with a story or include one later in your speech. Adding humour to your content is another effective technique to engage with your audience.
And most importantly, relax and enjoy your presentation. If you do that, it will reflect in presentation style and the audience will respond to it. It’s worth a try, so follow these tips for a good presentation!