6 Tips For Presenting That Will Help You Crush Your Next Meeting
Presenting comes with the territory of business. It’s something we’ve been forced into since our early school days and as we graduate into the professional world we see that it isn’t one of those things that just “goes away”. So whether you excel while presenting or dread it, we have a few tips that can make that big showing you have coming up go off without a hitch. Quarterly presentations are just around the corner and we want to make sure you have some extra tools in your arsenal to crush it.
Strategize Your Presentation Delivery
Once you have established a solid framework, it is crucial to turn your attention towards the delivery of your presentation.
- When delivering a presentation, there are three main approaches to consider: reading from a script or teleprompter, using bullet points to guide your speech, or memorizing the entire talk.
- Reading directly from a script or relying on a teleprompter should be avoided, as it creates a noticeable distance between you and the audience, diminishing the intimate connection and making the talk feel more formal.
- TED generally discourages reading approaches during presentations, as it hampers the overall reception. An exception was made for a speaker who used a monitor discreetly positioned at the back of the auditorium, but the ratings suffered due to the perceived detachment.
- Many successful TED Talks have been memorized word for word, which requires significant time investment in rehearsals. Jill Bolte Taylor, a renowned speaker, memorized her talk after crafting her story, practicing extensively, and delivering it multiple times in front of audiences.
- Memorizing a talk follows a predictable learning curve, often accompanied by a “valley of awkwardness” where the speaker has not fully internalized the content. If delivered in this stage, the audience can sense the detachment and discomfort, resulting in a weakened connection.
- Overcoming the “valley of awkwardness” entails diligent rehearsal until the words flow naturally. Once achieved, the focus can shift to delivering the talk with genuine meaning and authenticity.
- It is important to recognize that not every presentation warrants the extensive time investment required for memorization. Assess the significance of the talk and allocate rehearsal time accordingly, keeping in mind the desired level of mastery.
- At times we don’t have time to pass through the awkward valley of memorization, it is advisable to utilize bullet points on note cards instead. Direct your attention to remembering the smooth transitions between each bullet point, maintaining a cohesive flow throughout your speech.
Establishing a Strong Start
Craft an engaging and straightforward introduction to captivate your audience’s attention towards your content.
Contemplate incorporating a brief icebreaker activity.
A well-placed, tasteful touch of humor, relevant to the subject matter, can prove impactful.
Convey the purpose of your presentation concisely, utilizing clear language devoid of industry-specific jargon, while emphasizing the benefits participants will acquire.
Commence with a natural pace, striking a balance between not rushing and not dragging, to forge a compelling and positive impression. Conclude with a resolute statement that reinforces the presentation’s objectives.
Crafting An Engaging Presentation
When your audience derives enjoyment from and retains your presentation, it is a testament to your ability to deliver it in a dynamic and captivating manner.
- Engage in a conversation with your audience rather than delivering a monologue.
- Effortlessly convey your enthusiasm for the topic, avoiding a sermon-like tone. Remember that the majority of communication occurs through nonverbal cues, so pay careful attention to your appearance and vocal delivery.
- Structure your material in a well-organized manner, while remaining adaptable to cater to your audience. Inform participants whether you welcome questions during or after the presentation.
- Adapt your language to match the knowledge level of your audience, ensuring that unfamiliar terms are defined.
- Select your key points judiciously and reinforce them through compelling examples or anecdotes.
- Encourage audience members to contribute their experiences, using these examples to illustrate essential points or address inquiries.
- Leverage natural gestures and vocal inflections to augment the interest and impact of your presentation.
- Cater to diverse learning styles by employing a variety of instructional methods that appeal to different senses, such as visual, auditory, and kinesthetic approaches.
- Repeat audience questions to ensure that everyone hears and comprehends them.
- Guide the discussion back on track if it veers away from the intended topic.
- When faced with unanswered questions, commit to finding the answers and following up with the individuals involved. Alternatively, suggest appropriate resources that can provide the necessary information, or invite suggestions from the audience members themselves.
- Incorporate demonstrations to enhance understanding and engagement.
- Articulate your thoughts clearly and modulate your voice appropriately. Steer clear of speaking too rapidly, softly, or loudly, and ensure that your sentences do not trail off.
- Maintain eye contact with your audience, conveying confidence, transparency, sincerity, and genuine interest. This also allows you to gauge the audience’s response. In larger groups, mentally divide the room into sections and rotate your eye contact among different individuals in each section.
- Employ natural and graceful hand gestures to emphasize key points, allowing your hands to rest naturally by your side when not gesturing. Avoid fidgeting with clothing, hair, or presentation materials.
- Occasionally move to different spots while speaking, pausing briefly before continuing. Avoid excessive pacing.
Creating a Compelling Narrative
In the realm of presentations, storytelling stands as the cornerstone. Seasoned presenters often advocate beginning with a captivating story even before opening a single slide. This approach not only allows for the development of a robust narrative with the most significant information but also helps avoid the pitfall of overcrowded slides.
- Daniel Goldberg suggests starting with a brain dump to explore connections and find the storyline. Explaining main points in a simple manner and incorporating metaphors and anecdotes enhances relatability and memorability.
- Colby Zintl emphasizes the importance of ensuring the presentation can be understood even if someone reads it randomly. It should work as a “leave behind” document that maintains clarity and comprehension over time.
- Crafting a compelling narrative involves refining the presentation to make it visually impactful and memorable, leveraging the power of stories to leave a lasting impression.
Promote Interactivity in Your Presentation
Steer clear of solely delivering lectures to your audience. Instead, actively engage them in meaningful discussions.
- Encourage interactions and exchanges among audience members, fostering a collaborative environment.
- Pose an accommodation challenge to the audience, inviting their input on how they would approach the situation.
- Thoughtfully mirror back individuals’ attitudes, rationalizations, and entrenched patterns of thinking and behavior, while maintaining respect and sensitivity.
- Allocate ample time for questions, ensuring that all inquiries raised within the presentation are thoroughly addressed or appropriately directed towards relevant resources.
- Offer practical demonstrations or hands-on experiences with assistive technology, enabling participants to gain first hand exposure to its capabilities.
- Engage the audience in experiential learning activities, as people tend to retain information better when they actively participate in the learning process.
- Facilitate group interactions and collaborative problem-solving exercises, fostering collective engagement and shared solutions.
Promote fruitful discussions that enable participants to synthesize key themes and concepts, facilitating a deeper integration of knowledge and understanding.
Crafting Easily Digestible Presentations
Delivering a captivating story is essential, but ensuring it is easily digestible by your audience is equally crucial to maintain their engagement. To achieve this, it is imperative to create meaningful and clean slides. A general principle to follow when designing slides is to embrace the notion that less is more. Can your audience readily discern the main point of each slide? If not, it is necessary to reconsider the structure of your story.
According to Frykman, the success of presentations hinges on their ease of digestion by audiences. This entails creating clean, concise, and aesthetically pleasing slides. She offers valuable tips to achieve professional and polished slides, including:
- Use text sparingly, emphasizing main points through your spoken delivery rather than overwhelming the slide with excessive copy.
- Incorporate focused and engaging images while ensuring the slide does not become visually cluttered.
- Adhere to the company’s designated template, avoiding unauthorized modifications that deviate from the established branding guidelines.
Presenting is just a part of life. For most, it is impossible to get away from. So if you have to present at one point or another it is best to be prepared. Book a meeting room with The Professional Centre to make sure you have a clean and professional space to deliver your presentation. Impress your peers with a space as sharp as you and book yours today!
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