Presentations can be nerve wracking for the presenter and, if done incorrectly, incredibly boring and uninformative for the viewer. Ensure your next presentation hits it out of the park by following these basic tips for success.
Don’t waste your introduction. While a quick good morning is appropriate, use your introduction as a time to engage the audience early. Introduce yourself enthusiastically and ask a question that makes the audience think about your topic. Make them excited to hear the rest of your presentation.
Give Them a Reason to Listen
PowerPoint is a valuable tool. Unfortunately, many presenters misuse this aid by relying on it completely. Giant blocks of information and reading verbatim off the slide does not encourage the audience to listen. Instead, they read the slides and ignore what’s being said. Slides should highlight the big ideas and then be expanded upon by the presenter.
An informative infographic is a great aid to a presentation. Graphics naturally draw and engage the viewer. Using an interactive infographic with valuable information will enhance and empower your presentation by giving viewers something to refer back to for an easy refresher on your presentation. During the presentation, it will give a simple way to explain complex information.
Make Eye Contact
While a great presentation doesn’t necessarily need to have interaction, it does need to have engagement. Don’t stare at the computer screen or back of the room for the entire presentation, make eye contact with the audience. Eye contact will refocus the audience on your message and make you appear more engaged with the material as well as the people at your presentation.
Leave White Space
As was mentioned before, writing out the entire presentation on a slide is a bad idea. Think of each slide like a professional ad. There should be enough information to guide the viewer but not so much that it’s overwhelming. Leave adequate white space so the slide can be easily viewed and read without the viewer being drowned in information.
Practice for Perfection
Don’t go into a presentation unprepared. Have a test audience, preferably made up of professionals in your field. Run through the entire presentation and ask for input and questions. A test audience can find vague and confusing information for clarification and ask questions that may be worked into the presentation. The extra practice will also increase confidence during the presentation.