How to Give a Great Presentation

Presenting in front of an audience needs a large amount of confidence, but your presentation will always go more smoothly if you’ve prepared well. From writing the script right through to presenting it, here are some handy tips to help make sure everything runs smoothly.

A presentation will only be successful if you present it in the right way to your audience. If you’re presenting to children for example you need to keep it short, fun and interesting. If you’re presenting to a busy set of board members facts and figures, along with graphs might be the order of the day. Most people appreciate some light-hearted jokes, but be sure not to say anything remotely offensive – you may be able to say certain things to friends but speaking in public is the last place you want to make a bad-taste joke. In short, tailor your presentation style to your audience and you’ll at least get a good reception.

The clothing you wear should also be based on your audience and presentation style. For example a business meeting usually requires a suit, unless you’ve come in as a creative in which case they’ll expect you to be a bit out there. Generally, presenters need to look smart, if only for the fact that you’ll be taken seriously. This is especially important if you’re trying to impress or sway the opinions of your audience – you’ll need to appear as an authority on your subject.

Prepare some props for use during your presentation. These could be anything from a flip chart, to pictures on a screen to cartoons, keywords and jokes. Props give you something to talk around and can act as memory aids. They also make the presentation more interesting for your audience because they having something to look at apart from you. The more interesting your presentation is the more people will remember your key points. If an audience is bored they just switch off so keeping them engaged is key.

Whatever you do, don’t make the mistake of using a long powerpoint presentation. This is an old favourite of the presenter but in reality, audiences have seen so many of them that they’ve become a signal for boredom. If you use slides keep them short and visual – don’t make your audience read or sit through screen-wipes and sound effects.

A good presenter changes the pace of their speech, makes eye contact with audience members and doesn’t forget to smile. Practice your presentation so that talking becomes second nature and you can concentrate on these other things that keep an audience involved.

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