Most of us are not new to the most boring to the most entertaining , educational and motivational presentations we attend. What we need to learn is not just what is told in the presentation but we should also watch how presenter /speaker is performing his act. That includes Body language of the presenter , the way the topic is covered, what tools and software is used, how they modulate their voices/moods and gestures and how much they are interacting with the audience. There are many online resources to tell us how a great presentation should be. Here are some sample of what is good practices of presentations. Search for some outstanding live presentations after you read this blog
1. Your Face.
While presenting you should attempt to connect to the audience in the room by briefly having a eye contact with each of them. Audience should feel that you are presenting to them. You should also have smile on your face while presenting. Your facial expression are very important. If you look at the roof, or away from audience , that shows your lack of interest or purpose of your presentation and they will loose interest in what you are saying and they stop listening to you.
2. Your body
Standing like a statue and reciting your presentation will not entice the audience towards your speech. Having appropriate body gestures adds some excitement to your presentation and keeps audience engaged. Moving around the space you have on the podium should be considered along with your body gestures in order to show your enthusiasm for the subject you are speaking.
Your voice is most important part of presentation.How you say what you say is most important for any good presentation. Adjust your volume and tone according the size of the room and the number of audience you have. Silence and space between words allows for emphasis and lets your audience catch up with your ideas. Variation in the volume, tone along with body gestures can bring life to your presentations. Avoid words like “Nothing but””, Like , ümmm”, Ähhhaa” Érrrr” etc.
Your presentation should be a mixture of your talk, slides, audio and video and what and how you present on the stage. Engaging Audience for long time needs an outstanding mixture of all the above. Audience will not have eternal focus on what you are saying until unless what you say matters so much for them. You are presenting for the audience’s benefit not to fulfill your desire to be in the limelight.
5.Practice a lot.
Practice helps you to avoid mistakes and fine tune your language and other skills of presentations. Malcom Gladwell in his book Outliers says that it takes 10,000 hours to become an expert. Practice is the mantra for an outstanding presentations.
6.Develop great opening.
The first 15 seconds are enough for audience to make a impression on you. You should use your opening statements wisely to catch the attention of the audience and to listen to rest of the presentation. Start your speech by talking about something interesting: Give a staggering statistic, ask a question, make a declaration, or use a quote to draw people in.
7.Organize your presentation.
Your presentation should be a smooth flow of speech as if you are saying a great story to your audience. Your presentation should have an obvious opening, a body, and a conclusion. Your presentation should also have a mixture of pictures, video and limited text. It is you, who is presenting not the power point. Power point slides allow you to stick to a certain flow and end your presentation on time.
8.Connect with your audience
You need to establish a connection with audience. Use a personal story that reveals something about you or your experience to create a connection. If you are a professional then highlight your background and expertise to make audience feel comfortable that you are going to add value to their time by listening to you.
9.Check the facility.
Make sure before hand that all the hardware, software, mike setting, Lighting and good ventilation is there in the hall. You should avoid adjusting all the above when audience have already arrived. It is better you check the facility and practice on stage to get rid of stage fear before the audience take their seat.
10.Ask for honest feedback.
No one can claim to be the best presenter and there is always plenty of room to improve your skills. So make sure to ask for honest feedback from your trusted friends in the audience and work in fixing the issues.
11. Change the content for next presentation : If you have to present again the same subject matter make sure it is still relevant otherwise update your presentation topics to match what is latest and the greatest .
Hope you will follow the above guidelines and next time if i happen to hear you present , i expect you remember the above and show that. Good luck with your presentation skills. As always I’m there to help you to improve.