Dozens of eyes fixed on you; you start fidgeting, your palms sweating and your heart racing. Yes, you’re about to give a business presentation, and you’d better make it count. Perhaps your career doesn’t depend on the one you’re about to give, but it will certainly leave an impression on your audience, which might affect your promotion prospects.
1. Start with the structure
Your presentation needs to be well-structured, otherwise, your audience won’t be able to follow what you’re saying and your speech will seem all over the place. Typically, presentations are divided into three main parts: an introduction, body and conclusion. Your introduction should have two main purposes: to catch your audience’s attention, and to present your topic. In the presentation body, you should elaborate on your main ideas and arguments in the form of paragraphs. Each paragraph should deal with one main idea and supporting arguments. Finally, your conclusion should summarise your main points, and end with a strong statement.
2. Develop a strong hook
Your presentation should be attention-grabbing at the very beginning, which means that you should have a strong hook. Starting with a hook will help you grab your audience’s attention immediately. You can start with a joke, an anecdote, relevant statistics, a personal narrative, etc. This way, you’ll make sure that everybody in the room is listening to you, rather than looking at their phones.
3. Create legible slides
When creating a PowerPoint presentation, make sure your slides are legible and organised. Include only vital information, use one picture or chart per slide, and don’t clutter! Additionally, pay attention to the design – you need to choose the one that will ensure that everyone can see what’s written on the slides.
Once you’ve created your presentation, you should practice, practice and practice! Imagine that you’re in front of the audience, and rehearse until you manage to present within the given timeframe. If necessary, practice in front of a mirror, or your friends – it’s completely different when someone’s listening to you.
5. Check out the space
Before the big day, check out the space where you’ll be giving your presentation. This way, you’ll see whether you’ll have all the necessary equipment, or be able to make certain changes if necessary – for example, if it’s too light, you’ll need to choose a different design.
6. Make eye contact
There’s nothing worse than a presenter who keeps looking at the floor or ceiling. By making eye contact with your audience, you’ll be more engaging and compelling. Otherwise, you’ll seem insecure, nervous and you’ll quickly lose your audience’s attention.
7. Be careful with body language
Using your hands and facial expressions will make you more dynamic and compelling. However, waving your hands too much, fidgeting or leaning on a desk can be quite distracting, and, soon enough, your audience will observe your behaviour, rather than listen to your presentation.
8. Don’t read
Reading a prepared script or the text from the slides will be boring, and your audience will stop listening to you. You need to engage them, and reading from a piece of paper won’t help you achieve that. Of course, you shouldn’t learn your presentation by heart and just recite it – know what you’re going to say, practice and you’ll be just fine.
9. Mind your voice
You don’t want to put your audience too sleep with a flat and monotone voice. Don’t be afraid to emphasise or raise your voice if necessary. Choose a tone of voice that is suitable for your topic, speak clearly and loud enough so that everyone can hear you.
10. Apply for a training
The bottom line is that presentation skills can be learnt, so you shouldn’t panic if you don’t have much experience in the area. You can apply for presentation skills training in Sydney and acquire all the necessary knowledge. You can learn everything from creating to delivering, and become an effective presenter.
Giving a powerful presentation requires both practice and skills, so you shouldn’t just create a PowerPoint presentation and read off the slides. Once you get a proper training, you’ll find presenting nothing but a piece of cake.