Everyone has to give a presentation at some point during his professional life and whenever the time comes, it grips one with fear, apprehension and anxiety. Some people cannot get rid of this fear even after giving presentations many times. Some of us give average presentations, some below average and some are so good that their presentation skills become exemplary.
The fact is that with a little practice, patience and hard work, you too can improve your presentation skills considerably. If you are properly prepared and know what you have to do, you will feel little or no anxiety when giving your next presentation. The skills needed to give a good presentation are very basic but most people are unaware of their importance.
We have compiled a list of some golden rules that will help you in improving your presentation skills considerably and open the doors of a successful career for you. Even if you have not had the chance to deliver a presentation as yet, you should be prepared in advance as there is no knowing when you might be asked to give a presentation. If you are unprepared you might panic and fail to do a good job.
Golden Rules For A Great Presentation:
These tried and tested rules will ensure that you are able to give a smooth and impressive presentation.
For giving a good preparation you need to be well-prepared and organized. Know what material you have to include in the presentation and what should be excluded. Moreover you need to organize all the available information in such a manner that it has a smooth flow and easily understandable by the audience.
Use Visual Aid:
If you want to create a lasting impact on the audience and wish for them to retain more information, avoid bulleting and replace with images instead. Researchers have indicated that using images and visual aid has a much better effect on the audience rather than plain text.
In order to engage you audience in to the presentation completely you need to personalize with them. You can relate incidents from your past experiences to explain or elaborate a certain point in your presentation. Choose something which the audience can relate to, so that they can connect to your story and understand the point you are trying to make.
Nervousness is something which can be easily sensed by the audience and if you become too nervous you might end up sending the entire presentation down the drain. You must be ready to handle pressure and answer questions that the audience poses at the end of the presentation.
Work On Your Body Language:
For any presentation or speech, body language plays an important part in making it successful or a disaster. Your gestures say a lot about the level of confidence you have in your presentation. If you are nervous it will be reflected by your gestures and the audience will fail to connect with you properly. You must maintain eye contact with the audience and talk to them rather than staring at the back wall.
Know The Specifics:
You must know what kinds of audience are you presenting to, what do they expect and what kind of information they need to understand your presentation better. Get the details and work on them so that you do not have to face any unpleasant surprise at the 11th hour.
While some people believe that a long presentation is necessary to make their point and try to extend it for more than an hour. There are others who believe that a short presentation is the way to go and do not extend it for a period more than 15 minutes. The fact is that one should decide on the duration of the presentation based on the type of audience, the topic of the presentation and the purpose of the presentation.
It is better to keep the presentation short, but not too short. You have to be able to make your point clearly during the time allocated for the presentation. Don’t try to rush too much information in too little time as this will accomplish nothing and the audience will have retained very little information.
The Trio Rule:
Many researchers have agreed upon the fact that most of the people are able to retain three main points in any presentation. So in order to have the maximum effect on the audience it is advisable that you concentrate on three main points which can best explain the purpose and aim of your presentation.
If you break down the presentation into too many small points, it will fail to have a lasting impact on the audience. It is better to keep the presentation concise and to the point.
Make A Video
If you are too nervous about the presentation and there is too much on stake, it is a good idea to video tape yourself when you are rehearsing the presentation and carefully go through it. See what mistakes are there and which moves are making your presentation unimpressive. Work on these deficiencies and you will be able to give a great presentation.
Know What’s Next
If you have prepared a multimedia presentation you should be familiar with the content and the order of appearance of the slides. This way when the slide changes you know what is appearing next and you can start talking about what you are about to show. This gives you command over the presentation and enhance the confidence level.
Familiarize Yourself With The Surroundings:
If possible you should visit the room where you have to give the presentation and familiarize yourself with the surroundings. This will boost your confidence and you will feel comfortable at the time of the presentation.
Giving a presentation does not have to be a difficult and threatening task. If you are well prepared and have attained the basic skills needed to give a presentation, it will be a piece of cake. Keep in mind, no matter how good of a presentation you have put together, there will be no effect if you fail to give the presentation properly.