We’ve all faced nervous jitters or sweaty palms whenever speaking infront of the public, or giving a class presentation. More often than not, we also have some very faithful friends who make it their mission to make you laugh at that very moment 😂And many of us are clueless as to what goes into making them pleasing and readable! While it may seem funny then, being able to make and deliver powerful presentations is important because they are a big part of today’s corporate world. Every meeting has one and all of the conversations revolve around them. Moreover, the merit of an employee is tested on the basis of his/her presentation skills so it’s extremely important to be good at it!
This post is divided into two parts – tips for your presentation matter, and tips for the presenter! Read on to see how you can have the “Best Presentation Ever”:
For The Presentation Matter:
Number of Slides Is Important
I once attended a seminar with two back-to-back lectures. One had about 50 slides which went on for two and a half hours and almost everybody was dozing with their eyes open. And the other one was brief and precise with just three slides and lasted half an hour. The second one was very informative and interesting at the same time. Do you know how I know that? It’s because I listened to it! I listened because it was short, precise and simple. So you see, the number of slides don’t matter but what you put in them does! Just highlight your key points and include your statistical data. Oh, and never write jokes on them. Ever.
Make It Simple
It’s tempting to use goofy fonts and cringey animations. But that worked well for your sixth grade class presentation, not infront of your colleagues. It’s disturbing to have words and letters swirling out from all sides of the slide and trying to read those curly and elaborate fonts. It gets annoying and looks extremely unprofessional! Keep the animations to a bare minimum and stick with the basics like Helvetica or Arial.
Be Original With Your Content
In today’s world with the Internet available at our finger tips, whatever we need we just ‘Google‘ it. But we really need to spend time brainstorming for ideas because in case of presentations, the more original it is the more interest people will take. Sure, referring to the Internet is a must but it’s a big letdown if someone can recognise that you copy-pasted topics and ideas from a page they have already read online! Original content brings in interested listeners and hence, your matter will be well-received. And in case of an original lecture, you would know it better so there would be no question of forgetting a fact!
For The Presenter:
Confidence and Charm
The audience for most people form the most intimidating part of a presentation but actually, they are the biggest strength. While it may be jittering and a little scary, once you get the audience’s attention, your job becomes that much more simpler. And you need not do a magic trick to achieve that! Confidence in your attitude and a few interesting words at the beginning of your lecture are all that you need to kick-start your presentation.
Engage Your Audience
Sitting through presentations are boring enough and the one thing your audience does not need is a speaker who looks like they are delivering a speech! Make eye contact with your listeners to let them know that you are confident and eager. Engage them by asking interesting questions and coming up with clever replies. Keep them hooked on to every word you say as they will be expecting new, exciting content rather than a boring lecture!
Know Your Matter By Heart
One of the biggest no-nos is to look back at a slide to read from it. Showing data on a screen or highlighting a point is fine but it’s weird listening to someone just read out lines from the slide like a parrot, or someone who continuously glances back because they have forgotten what to say. Not only is it unprofessional, it shows that you do not know your stuff and that you have not prepared properly for the presentation. So, the next time, do a quick review before starting so you do not have to refer the slides while presenting.
A Sense Of Humor Never Hurts
People are often afraid of adding jokes or punchlines in their presentations but on the contrary, jokes are actually a very good way of kick-starting a lecture that you know is going to bore the hell out of people. Keep it funny and the audience will be happy. They may even ignore the little mistakes you might make in the course of the presentation! As long as the jokes are clean (nothing political or offensive to the office), people are bound to enjoy them. But one thing to make sure is that to never go overboard with it!
Get Rid Of The Nervous Energy
This is probably the most important point. Because if a person follows all the above mantras but falls and fumbles while speaking, then it’s all a big failure. For introverts or people who have a fear of public speaking, this one is a must do and the most effective way to do this is to speak in front of the mirror. I know it sounds foolish but it really helps! At the beginning, it would also be better to practice by speaking out alone and making points on where you might be going wrong. Sometimes outside opinion is all you need.
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