Giving a presentation can be a very daunting experience leaving lots of us feeling very anxious. But, here are some quick win tips that will help you deliver a clear, concise and effective presentation that will capture your audience and hopefully help you to overcome those fears.
What is the message?
Your content is essential in your presentation. Work out what you want to say in two or three sentences before expanding your thoughts and ideas. To make the impact you want you need to be clear on your research and recommendations, back it up by a convincing argument to capture your audience’s attention.
Structure your presentation
• A short introduction – what is the presentation about
• Clear focusses and themes within the presentation
• Remember less is more – you do not have to put all the information on the slides (if using a PowerPoint presentation) – this will invite audience participation with questions
• If using stats/numbers turn them into a simple graph or bar chart to visually capture the audience’s attention
• Summarise your argument and have a clear conclusion with your thoughts and recommendations and solutions
Make sure your practice and test it out
It is really important to have a run through and practice your presentation. This is good to see if you have a presentation that lasts the allocated time that you have been given and let you know if you need to add more or cut some information out. Your nerves will try to take over you but try to take your time rather than speed through it and not make any sense. Remember nerves can be useful – so do not get anxious and worry about it. Ask your colleagues if you can do a practice run in front of them. Listen to their advice and tips and get them to ask you questions.
Build a rapport with your audience
The more you practice your presentation, the more familiar you will be with your material. This will make you more confident and at ease in delivering your presentation. The best way to engage your audience is to project your voice, use eye contact, be enthusiastic and think of your body language. Maybe inject some humour, where appropriate. Try not to look at the screen and read as you go along, this does not show confidence in your presentation. You need to appear natural in your delivery. The audience is your priority and you need to sell it to them! Use flash cards with keywords as prompts. Remember to smile and to pause at key points. And finally, remember to take your time, this is your stage and above all - enjoy it!