8 Pragmatic Tips for Delivering a Perfect Presentation
When it comes to giving presentations, we usually sit in one of two camps; those of us who relish the opportunity and thrive on an audience, and those of us who would prefer to be anywhere else!
Whether presentations are your ‘thing’ or not, if you need to give one you will no doubt want to get pretty good at them. With this is mind we have come up with eight tips for effective presentations, helping you to select the right software, deliver your message and get out the other side with your nerves intact. Read on to find out more…
1. Pick your tools
While Microsoft PowerPoint is the most widely known presentation tool there is a whole host of presentation software available. Popular options include:
- Prezi, which effectively does away with the slide-by-slide view we have gotten used to. All the content is presented on one large work area or slide, the presenter then zooms in and out to explore each idea in more detail. Engaging to look at, Prezi also helps demonstrate the presenters thought process and how ideas and information is linked together. What’s more, because Prezi is cloud-based you can work on it anywhere.
- Keynote, essentially Apple’s answer to Microsoft PowerPoint, with Keynote, Apple users benefit from being able to sync across all their devices, making updating on the go easy. As you might expect from Apple, Keynote boasts a good array of tools to ensure your presentation looks great. Added functionality ensures that your presentation can be saved as ppt. and that ppt. presentations can be imported in, so no getting stuck with incompatible software.
- Google Slides, sitting within Google Drive is Google Slides a simple and intuitive to use presentation tool. As with everything in Google Drive slides are saved regularly so no losing information. Presentations can be viewed from the browser or downloaded into PowerPoint and what’s more, it’s free!
Whatever format you choose do be sure that it will work in the place you are delivering your presentation and that you are confident using it. The added stress of using unfamiliar software coupled with presentation nerves isn’t going to help things go as smoothly as you would like.
2. Think about the look
While it may be tempting to add special effects, illustrations and images (especially if you are worried about your content or timing), try to hold back and add only what will support your presentation’s key messages. You want your audience to concentrate on your message, not the crazy effects you’ve added. To make slides easy to read, keep the background light and the text dark and use a large, easy to read font.
3. Don’t overload your slides
Presentation slides should be an overview to support and reiterate your key messages – which should come from what you say. Packing slides with lots of content will make them hard to read and you may find your audience will read ahead of you and then become disengaged.
4. Back up your content with facts
You will quickly lose your audience if they feel what you are saying is speculation or worse, incorrect, be sure to back up your findings with facts. What’s more, if you are confident in your content you will feel less worried about delivering it.
5. Rehearse, then rehearse some more
Whether you are confident or a bag of nerves, practising your presentation is essential for it to go as well as can be. The more you practice the more the content will come naturally and the less likely you will panic should your mind go blank. You will also become more familiar with the content and need to consult your notes less – giving a more prepared look.
6. Consider your body language
When presenting one can become very self-conscious, so think about your body language; stand tall, stop fidgeting, make eye-contact and smile!
7. Keep the audience engaged
Most of us expect to open the floor to questions at the end of a presentation, but you could also try asking questions of your audience throughout. This will help to open a dialog, possibly helping you to relax a little, and will help to keep the audience engaged.
8. Add a call to action
What do you want your audience to do after your presentation? If they need further information where should they go? How can they contact you? Be clear in what the next steps are for those interested in your presentation.
While we can’t help you deliver your presentation, hopefully our hints and tips will help you prepare.
If you need help and support around your digital marketing activity, don’t hesitate to get in touch, our team of experts are on hand to help support your content marketing and digital strategy including SEO, PPC and social media, email us at [email protected] or call 01509 631 136.