So you need to give a presentation. You’ve got PowerPoint fired up and the audience is ready. The presentation is all set, all that is left to do is – present. The presentation is ready – are you? Here’s how to make your presentation a success.
An easy mistake people often make is rushing. And there’s no quicker way to tell the audience that you aren’t comfortable with public speaking than to speed through your presentation. Talk very slowly, even if it’s uncomfortable. You always talk faster than you think you do, so slow your roll.
Don’t Read Off the Slides
Please, please, PLEASE don’t read directly off slides. A good presentation displays the main topic or broad points, allowing you to elaborate through your speech. If all of the information you are discussing is on the slides, what purpose do you serve? Your audience can presumably read; don’t read the presentation to them
Be Excited About Your Topic
Hopefully the topic you are presenting is one you are both interested and knowledgeable in. Your enthusiasm should show! You don’t have to be hopping up and down, but you should have a level of energy that makes people want to listen to you. An enthusiastic presentation about a dull topic will be far more captivating than a low-energy presentation about an exciting topic.
No one does anything perfectly the first time they try it. Chances are, your presentation won’t be perfect the first time either. Make sure the first time you present isn’t at the actual presentation itself! Run through it in empty room, run through it front of coworkers, heck, present it to your pet! Just make sure you do a few practice runs beforehand.
Another trick is to present in front of someone who isn’t familiar with the topic. This is a good way to have questions asked you might have overlooked, and prepares you for the questions a crowd might throw at you.
Don’t Sweat It
Finally, don’t worry! You’ll be fine. Take a deep breath, and head on out there. Your audience awaits you.
Marketing Analyst, Marketing Technology