It does not matter how big of a personality you are, things can get quite nerve-wrecking when you have to give a live presentation in front of an audience of professionals. You know professionals pay as much attention to the content of the presentation as they do to how you deliver the whole thing. In many cases, they are completely relying on you to explain them the idea and how things work. According to them, if you can’t simplify the idea and make them understand it, the idea is not a good one. So, how do you ensure you deliver a successful, interesting, and comprehensible presentation?
Here are some simple ways to improve your presentations.
Five Simple Ways to Improve Your Presentation
- Talk Slowly
- Have Questions for the Audience
- Use Graphics in Your Presentations
- Try a Magnetic Whiteboard
- Have a Strong Preceding Speech
This is the simplest rule yet so many presenters seem to forget it. When giving a presentation, you are explaining an idea. Your focus is for people to understand that idea. Imagine listening to a documentary on National Geographic for the first time. You would want the narrator to be as slow and calm as possible for you to understand everything. Before you transition from idea one to idea two, the idea one should be clear in the mind of the listener. The slower you talk, the clearer you can pronounce your words, which is yet another way to clearly delivering your ideas.
When you are explaining an idea in your presentation, you will always come across questions that people usually have in their minds. If you have a grasp on the idea you are presenting, you will know the exact questions popping up in the minds of the listeners. The idea is to let them ask those questions so they can pay attention to the answers genuinely. You are not supposed to ask questions and answer them all by yourself. If your presentation is lengthy, you have to involve the audience to prevent them from yawning and sleeping. Yes, you do have to make sure that your questions have obvious and simple answers.
The best recipe to destroy your presentation and make it boring is to make it wordy. What’s the point of creating a presentation in the first place it is full of blocks of letters one after the other? You are not reading out an essay to the audience, are you? If you are only narrating what’s showing up on slides, you might as well turn off the slides in the first place. It is important to realise how big of a role images can play in conveying your idea to the listeners. What will require you to explain in five minutes can be explained within five seconds using an appropriate picture. If you have ample time, you can have the images created by an animator or artist.
If your presentation is simple and does not require you to use a projector, you would want to go with a whiteboard. However, you can enhance your role as a presenter significantly when you go for a magnetic whiteboard. Magnetic whiteboards are just like regular whiteboards but with magnetic force in them. If you have any accessories and supplies made of the right metals, they will stick to the surface of the whiteboard. Imagine being able to use arrows, geometry shapes, images, letters, numbers, etc. to make your presentation more vivid and attractive. All of this can be done with the right magnetic whiteboard.
One of the biggest mistakes you can make as a presenter is when you enter your presentation straight away. You don’t take out time to communicate with your audience on a personal level and that’s just a sin. The first five minutes of your presentation should be you talking to the audience and giving them a glimpse of the problem its solution that you are about to come up with. If you are confident enough, you can even dare to crack a few jokes to make your listeners laugh to break the ice. If you are aware of your audience, you can touch upon a few of their pet peeves to make them pay attention to what you are saying. Do not go about saying hello and turning slides one by one right after.
It is imperative as a presenter to realise the importance of little things that can help you during a presentation to convey your idea to the audience. You don’t have to quote philosophers and unravel the mysteries of the world to make people interested in your talk. Simple tools used during presentations can help you deliver your idea effectively. Last but not least, you have to get rid of any thoughts of how people are looking at you and what they are thinking about you while you are presenting.
Read more: Tips for Presenting with a Lectern