28 Sep Tips to give a great presentation
Presenting to a crowd of people can be nerve wracking. Public speaking is not something that comes naturally to many people and it’s why many universities offer classes, and sometimes full majors, on public speaking. Presentations can be given to one or two people or crowds of thousands. While the most important thing to convey is the message, the most important thing you can do to make sure that message gets across is prepare for your presentation. Going into any presentation unprepared or underprepared will most definitely be dire for you and anyone else you want to receive the material you are trying to get across.
The first thing you want to know in any presentation, is everything. You should know everything. What I mean by this is that you should know your material, front to back. You are the subject matter expert on the topic you are presenting. Whether or not there is an interactive part of the presentation, such as a question and answer session, you should still be prepared to answer any question that could possibly be asked. Having this much knowledge around the subject you are speaking of will ensure that you won’t stumble to explain something, should you end up going off-book. This amount of knowledge will also instill a high level of confidence in the material and confidence is the second best thing to have for any presentation, big or small.
When you are speaking to a room of people, or an auditorium of investors, your level of confidence sits on a teetering meter, constantly being scrutinized and ridiculed by each and every audience member. Someone who portrays confidence is someone you want to listen to and give your attention to. When speaking softly, stumbling over material, and posturing yourself with an obvious lack of confidence, the audience ends up caring very little for what you’re saying and you open yourself up to terrible outcomes, including the loss of the audience. Knowing your material and giving yourself pep talks can significantly boost your confidence and radiate your presence from the stage.
Another useful tool in keeping the audience engaged and interested in having visuals. If you look at something as popular as the annual Apple conference where they reveal the new iPhone model or new features available, think about that presentation without having the pictures of the iPhone or the live demo of its features. Imagine how boring it would be to just listen to someone talk about the iPhone for three hours. Having visual aids and presentations that capture the attention and complement your words is vital to the success of any presentation.
So, as long as you know your material, have confidence in yourself, and use visual aids that complement your words and material, you really can’t go wrong. There will be no nerves, as there is nothing to be nervous about. Just remember that you know the material and everyone there wants to know the material. Go tell ‘em!