From college classes to board meetings, you may need to give public presentations dozens of times or more throughout your career. Even if you’re a world-class expert on your topic, you won’t be able to “wing it” – crafting an informative and interesting presentation, and knowing how to present it, takes hard work and careful planning.
Keep these tips in mind as you prepare for your next presentation – they’ll help you to get the most out of your words, your audience, and yourself!
Prep, proofread, and practice!
- First, start by editing and fact-checking your presentation as much as possible, well before the day of your presentation. If you’re forced to revise it hours before it’s due, you’re likely to second-guess yourself during the presentation and your delivery won’t be as smooth as it could have been.
- It may go against most of the advice you’ve been given, but you should also try to memorize your presentation. Once you’re familiar with it, you can try adding extra information, jokes, or even improvising a little.
- Practicing your presentation with friends, family, coworkers or classmates will help – plus, you’ll be more confident and relaxed during the real thing. You might also want to consult a speech coach, who can help you control your voice, interact with your audience, and make good transitions between topics.
- Be sure to practice often, but don’t overwork yourself – stress will only make your job harder.
Choose your aids wisely
Depending on the style and subject of your presentation, a visual aid can be a real asset. They can help your audience better understand your message while adding a little variety and aesthetic appeal, but they come with some important rules.
- Your aid should be visible to your entire audience, colorful and attractive, and relevant to your presentation. Don’t use too much text – your aid should provide facts, figures, and summaries, but not entire paragraphs. All of the text you include should be in a large and legible font (at least 20pt), ensuring that your audience can easily read it.
- Likewise, don’t depend too much on charts and graphs, as they could be too difficult to read or understand. The most effective visual aid is eye-catching and immediately understandable – like photographs, models, or even film excerpts.
- The format you choose for your aid Pages