Unsure of how to prepare and conduct a successful presentation? Check out our 7 tips below:
- Check Your Equipment…..in advance:
If you are planning to use PowerPoint, a clicker or show a video during your presentation, make sure to do a pre-check the night before and again a few minutes before the start of your presentation. You don’t want your opening line to be “sorry we seem to have some technical difficulties.” One other tip, keep only the tabs needed open and close all unnecessary ones.
- Limited Slides:
If it is possible, limit your presentation to 10-12 slides (depending on your time scale and requirements) with 8-10 key words on each slide. Your presentation will look clean, tidy and simple to follow. Too many words and too many images can confuse your audience and they may lose interest. It also means you have less work to do on your actual presentation and more time to practice the public speaking side.
Storytelling is the best way to help your audience to pay attention and relate to your presentation. Presentations can be boring when the audience is filled with information but very little context or meaning. Make your story relevant and if possible from your own personal experience (you can tell the story from the heart).
- Try Your Best Not To Read From The Slides:
Practice, practice and more practice!! It’s crucial that you know your stuff. It looks very professional when you can avoid reading from the slides. It shows that you put a lot of effort, preparation and invested a huge level of interest in your presentation. The best advice is to limit each slide to about 8-10 key words and once you see each key word……..BOOM……your knowledge and storytelling begins with good positive body language facing your audience and making eye contact. Otherwise you are reading directly from the slides and most of your audience are zoned out (see right) and we don’t want that.
- Make Your Presentation Interactive and Engaging With Your Audience:
Asking questions is a good characteristic of a presenter. It allows the audience to offer their views and opinions. You can have a better understanding as to whether the audience are finding it educational by asking questions. We strongly advise leaving all questions from the audience until the end as you can become distracted with questions throughout the presentation. If you have time, it might be an idea to ask the audience to complete a feedback form which will provide you with some constructive criticisms and positive feedback. This can assist you with improving your presentation skills.
- Smile And Make Eye Contact:
This sounds much easier than it is but surprisingly a large number of presenters forget to do this due to nerves etc. By making eye contact and smiling to your audience, you are building a rapport and making your audience more comfortable, engaged and connected to you and your topic. It would be important to practice this with an audience at home or at university before your presentation. And don’t forget to SMILE 🙂
- Relax, Breath and Enjoy:
If you have a pre-exam ritual like listening to music or going for a walk, why don’t you try this before your presentation? Do your best to enjoy your presentation especially if it’s a topic that you are passionate about. And don’t forget to celebrate your achievements!!! You deserve it.
We know this time of the academic year consists of many presentations and we hope these tips help you out. Remember to try your best to learn from each presentation you do and continue to improve. Soon enough you’ll be conducting successful presentations to millions worldwide.
The very best of luck with your upcoming presentations!