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We’ve all had to sit through boring presentations. In front of the presenter is the audience and behind him a screen with presentation slides. The boring presenter uses standard templates, filled with bullets and text, and acts as the voice over to his slides. It doesn’t have to be this way.
An effective presenter knows how to prepare and deliver a presentation to move an audience and get results. They know that it’s all about their audience and not himself or his product. They present to engage their audience and make them feel good about sitting there, learning something new.
Within my site, you will find many presentation tips to become more effective: how to plan your presentations to flow in a logical sequence, how to overcome jittery nerves, how to design your slides as a backdrop and not a center piece, how to use your body and voice to tell your stories, and how to transfer your own enthusiasm to your audience.
Before you even turn on your computer and start your preferred presentation software, create an outline of your presentation. Use Post-It notes to jot down your key messages or create a MindMap to create an overview of your most important points.
No matter if you present to introduce a new product, to get budget for a new project, or to educate your audience, the first question you need to answer is “What do you want your audience to remember?”
Sure, at the end of the day, the goal of your presentation is to educate or persuade your audience. And that is the reason why you need to constantly ask yourself “Why should they care?” An effective presentation will be one that demonstrates to your audience that there is value for them in understanding your ideas. Only when they see a clear benefit to them will they ultimately take action.
Let’s face it, people don’t really care about specs and features. They care about what those specs and features will do for them. They don’t care how many gigabytes of memory your gadget has, they care about how many items the can store. They don’t care about how many pages per minute your printer spits out, they care about not having to wait. Package all your data in a way that means something to your listeners.
Less is often more, especially when it comes to your slide design. Always keep in mind that your slides are there to support your message, and not the other way around. It often is better to simply use a picture that helps you make a point than using words and if you do use words, use them sparingly. Don’t write sentences on your slides, but rather find the right keyword(s) for your message.
I know you are enthusiastic about your subject; otherwise you wouldn’t speak about it. Use your entire body, your voice, and choose words that will transfer this enthusiasm to your audience. Gesture generously, put a spark in your eyes, lower your voice and tempo to create suspense and increase it to make your main points.
Always remember that you have been invited to speak for a reason. Your audience wants to know what you have to say and wants to learn from you. They want you to succeed. Audiences are typically very forgiving, even if things sometimes don’t work they way you planned them. So try new things, enjoy when they work, and learn from moments when they don’t.
There are many other tips, tricks, and techniques that will make you a better presenter throughout this website. I hope you enjoy exploring it and I would be delighted to hear from you. Please drop me a note below or via the contact form and I will get back to you right away!