In the Office

Making A Worthwhile Presentation

Time to make an important presentation? Make sure it is effective.

Ideally after a presentation, the audience takes away some key points and feels it was worth their time.


The question is, what is the best way to accomplish this?

Following are tips to help you develop and deliver a successful presentation:

What is the goal of the presentation? Just like any piece of communication, be sure you know what you want to accomplish and focus your piece on achieving that goal(s).

Analyze your audience. Who are they? How much do they already know about the subject of your presentation? Know your audience so you can develop a presentation that is most appropriate for them.

Don’t overwhelm your audience with a hefty amount of facts and statistics, industry jargon or long sentences. Make your presentation straightforward and to the point. Simple is better. This will help keep your audience engaged.

Key Points.
Narrow your presentation down to no more than three main points and keep your presentation focused on those points. Introduce the points in the beginning, support your points in the presentation, reiterate your points at your closing.

Talk, Don’t Read.
Don’t read your slides. This is a presentation, not a written document. Develop slides that represent what you want to say. Then stress each slide’s main points during the presentation.

Watching slide after slide of words/sentences can be boring. Keep your presentation interesting with pictures, animations, charts and/or graphs. Words and visuals a slide, or a visual that speaks for itself is a great way to get your point across. Perhaps use props – real-life objects to emphasize and illustrate your point.

Be conversational, confident and interesting. Give your audience a reason to listen to you. Share stories and/or real-life examples to allow your audience to make a connection and become more engaged in the presentation.

Work the room/stage. Walk around. Look people in the eye. Use your hands. Get out from behind the lectern to bring vibrancy to your presentation.

Get your audience engaged. Ask questions. Call on certain individuals. Use examples that the audience can relate to in one way or another. Grab an audience member to participate in a demonstration.

Even the most seasoned speakers rehearse before every presentation. Rehearse in front of a mirror. Practice your presentation in front of co-workers or friends. Videotape your presentation, and review it with or without someone else who will critique it.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Take a course in public speaking. Hire a vocal coach or presentation trainer. Work with someone who can help put your slides together, and help develop key touch points for each slide.

And, don’t forget to breathe.

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