Tips for giving a good presentation

Here are some of the tips you can read to improve your presentation skills. The tips are categorized according to various areas of a presentation. Focus on one at a time on your next presentation.

Your Attitude

  • Just try to feel genuinely happy while presenting. It will improve the vibe you give out.
  • Presenting is theatrical. You can literally think of it as acting out a play, giving a performance. You can be dramatic to leave a lasting impression.
  • Just drop your ego. An egotistic presenter is usually disliked.

Body language

  • Watch this video to have a little idea about how body language affects your presentation.
  • Body language shows your personality.
  • It is said 55% of communication is body language, 38% is the tone of voice, and 7% is the actual words spoken. Reference: www.psychologytoday.com/…munication-numbers-game
  • Moderation is the key. Don’t keep your hands inside your pocket all the time. Neither should you excessively animate your gestures that you start looking like a clown.
  • Remember that gestures imprint what you say to the audience more deeply.

Eye Contact

  • Here too, moderation is the key. You don’t want to be staring the person on the eye for such a long time that they start shifting in their seats. Rather, keep your gaze around the third row, it will make the whole row feel like you are watching them. No one feels left out.
  • If you yourself have problem to have eye contact with the audience, don’t look someone right in the eye, focus on their forehead or their chin.

Voice

  • It’s a plus point to have a strong voice. A strong voice is deep and captivates the audience.
  • If your voice is not strong, don’t worry, just make the best of what you have.
  • Make sure your voice is heard up to the last row. You can ask the people from the back for the acknowledgement.
  • Neither speak like you are shouting nor present in a totally monotonous low pitch voice. You can alter the modulation of your voice with the content for greater impact.
  • Be careful if you have a habit of using excessive fillers like “umm”, “aah” etc

Stage Presence

  • Constantly pacing back and forth can be distracting for the audience. Do it in moderation.
  • if you are in a position where you are stuck in a podium, don’t worry, all you have is your voice and express it to make the best impression you can.

Audience’s gaze

  • You need to keep your audience’s eyes on you or on what you are pointing too.
  • Don’t turn your back on the audience often. The moment you turn back to either read your slides or anything else, you have lost your audience.

Power point slides

  • Watch this video for a little idea about how to make a good presentation slide.
  • Avoid small fonts. After you make a slide, view it from 2 meters away from your laptop.
  • Avoid using more than 2 fonts in the entire slide.
  • Avoid using excessive font colors.
  • Sans-Serif fonts are clear and can be easily understood.
  • Overuse of animations or sounds is not appropriate. Here, of course, only do it if it seems fit for the situation. The simple, the better.
  • It is better to animate the bullet points one after the another.
  • Follow the “Six-by-six rule”: Use no more than six words per line and no more than six lines per slide
  • Use contrasting colors; dark on light or light on dark themes.

Interactions

  • Sometimes interaction can be risky so be careful when you choose to interact with the audience.
  • You can politely divert the questions from the audience if you are caught off-guard by requesting them to discuss offline.
  • If you don’t know the answer to the questions, don’t ever bluff. Instead, tell them to get back to you after the presentation.
  • When asking a question to an audience member, it is better to first drop the question to the whole group first and maybe then pinpoint a single person to get an answer.

Presenting about what you don’t know

  • Don’t start by discrediting yourself.
  • Sometimes you maybe in a position where you have to present about some topic of which you have very less or no idea about. In such cases, make the best preparation and remember to cover the breadth of the topic, not the depth. Because, you can’t expect to be an expert in any technology in a few days.
  • Stay with half truth but don’t lie or bluff.
  • When faced with cross questioning you are uncomfortable with, divert the question to be discussed offline where you can make them meet with the person who can give a better answer.

Content

  • You should have a clear content. Don’t make it too vague or too detailed.
  • If you have lots of numbers to show for example, data and statistics, it is better to represent them in a graphical format.
  • Make huge numbers concise by expressing them in terms of thousands or millions. For example. 23 million instead of 23,975,231.
  • It is better to avoid words that have double meanings or that which may imply stuff you don’t want to mean.
  • You can download slides from SlideShare.com and use it for you. It is better to modify the theme and content to make the slide look like your own.
  • Have a very strong opener and conclusion for your presentation.

Other Tips:

  • There is no alternative to rock your presentation besides hard work. Just practice, practice, practice to make the perfect presentation.
  • Write out your entire presentation and practice it.
  • Practice your presentation in front of a neutral audience and get feedback.
  • You can also practice in front of a mirror.
  • If there is a time constraint, practice with a timer.
  • if you are not fully confident always prepare for a content 30 seconds less than the actual time constraint. This will leave some space for some unexpected situations.

Other References

  • http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/5880/7-rules-for-powerpoint-simplicity
  • http://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/easy-powerpoint-design-tricks-ht
  • https://hbr.org/2013/06/how-to-give-a-killer-presentation
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEDcc0aCjaA
  • https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eIho2S0ZahI

 

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