About 99% of all people in business will have to give a presentation at one point or another. Giving a bad or boring presentation is the norm and quite frankly, expected. A truly great presentation is something everyone will remember and that’s what you’re hoping for!
Preparing for your presentation:
1. Define your end goal. When preparing for a presentation, define your end goal first to determine the steps you need to take to get there. Are you unveiling a new campaign you want your client to like? Introducing new company policies that you’d like employees to buy in to? Teaching a group of people how to do their business taxes? Determine what you’d like the presentation to accomplish before you do anything else.
2. Create an outline. Once you’ve identified what your end goal is, you can determine an outline that gets you there. It should include your introduction along with the key points you need to make and a conclusion.
3. Create sub points. Once you’ve identified the key points you need to make, create sub points for each that support it. These sub points should be short, succinct and include data or advice.
4. Outline = Slides. Your presentation should never be a lot of text on PowerPoint slides that you read to your audience. 10-15 slides should be your maximum. Use your outline to create your slides.
5. Use pictures. Find images that represent the point you are trying to make. Make sure they aren’t overly complicated but simple and to the point. People like to see images instead of lines and lines of text.
6. Compelling introduction. Make the most of your introduction in order to captivate your audience. Show an interesting picture, tell a relatable story, or anything else that will help you build rapport.
7. Come early. Get to the presentation site early to set up and make sure all of your equipment is ready. Don’t set up the projector as your audience is walking in.
Giving your presentation:
1. Don’t read your slides. Again, your slides should be a visual presentation of your outline. It’s up to you to articulate the points and expand on them, not write them out for your audience to listen to you read.
2. Schedule interaction with your audience. Interacting with your audience might seem like a no-brainer but it’s sometimes difficult to do, so schedule it. Before your presentation, if you can, go around and chat with the people who are attending. During your presentation, ask questions. This gets people out of their head and back into the presentation. Try to do this around every 10 minutes or so.
3. When asking questions avoid feedback questions until the end. Asking questions in the middle of your presentation should do two things.1) Get the audience re-engaged into the presentation and 2) get them to think about something they’ve experienced. For example, if you are presenting new company policies, ask a question such as, “How many of you have come into the breakroom and the microwave was dirty? With our new housekeeping policy, that won’t happen again.”
4. Look at your audience. When giving a presentation, it should be your goal to look at as many people in the eye as you can. Don’t look at the sides of the room, at the wall, at the projector, look people in the eye.
5. Use humor. Make people laugh and they are yours forever. Try to inject as much humor as you can, but do it tastefully and at no one else’s expense.
6. Use your hands. You want to look and feel at ease. If you have your arms crossed or stuffed in your pocket, you will come across as uncomfortable.