Whether you are delivering a presentation to your boss, some new employees or to new business partners or customers, it can be no mean feat trying to get it just right. Smart business people know that whether they are pitching for a new client, delivering a sales or marketing presentation or anything in between that the better prepared they are, the more likely it will go down well.
Here are some practical tips to ensure that your presentations always hit the mark.
Define your goals. When you begin to put your presentation together, make sure that you are clear about what your end goal is. What are you hoping to achieve? Every part of your presentation should be geared towards your goals, and by the time you finish, you should be absolutely confident that they have been met.
Consider your presentation from the audience’s perspective. If you are giving a presentation on a subject that is totally familiar to you, it can be all too easy to forget that other people may struggle with some of the content. Make sure you break down and thoroughly explain any difficult to understand topics so that you don’t confuse or frustrate your audience.
Make sure you practice. Practice makes perfect and reading your presentation aloud will help you familiarise yourself with the content so it comes out much more naturally on the day. You can also make sure your timings are right and learn how to speak slowly, clearly and confidently so you come across as knowledgeable and professional and your audience takes notice.
Be entertaining. Use humor if it’s appropriate. Use interesting facts and statistics. Try to keep sentences varying lengths and keep the pace up. Even the dullest topics can be made interesting with a little creativity, a little imagination, so try to keep things interesting to ensure you hold your audience’s attention until the very end.
Prepare for questions. It’s usual to allow for questions at the end of a presentation so make sure that you allow time for that, and also prepare your answers to questions that you think might come up. It’s embarrassing and unprofessional if you can’t answer something that you are supposed to be an expert on so make sure you research and practice your answers too.
Make sure you have the right equipment. USB sticks, handouts, a projector, a microphone – whatever you need to deliver your presentation the best way possible, make sure you have secured all the relevant equipment in advance. Arrive early and check everything and make sure it is all set up, there is nothing worse than technology failing you at the last minute.
Delivering a good presentation takes practice. So if you need to brush up on your presentation skills, follow the tips above to make sure the next time you do one, it goes down perfectly.
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