Giving a presentation before an audience is unnerving for many people, even if they have a lot of experience. On the other hand, performance anxiety is the least of your worries if you don’t even know how to give a presentation.
Either way, allow us to ease your fears. If you’ve never given presentations and want to learn how, read this guide.
If you’ve already given many presentations, you’ll still benefit from this guide. The following tips teach you not only how to present but how to do so effectively.
So whether you’re new to the art of presenting or you simply want to crank up the “wow” factor of your stage presence, read on.
1. Research Your Audience
If you’ve been asked to make a presentation before an audience, it’s usually because you’re already an expert on the relevant topic. So don’t waste all your preparation time researching what you already know. Instead, find out all you can about your audience.
Refer first to the person who invited you. Find out why they invited you and what they’re expecting from your presentation.
Find out what organizations or demographics are going to attend. Then research these demographics thoroughly.
Acquire all the data you can about your target audience. Then, craft a presentation that’s tailor-made just for them.
2. Be Passionate
A presentation isn’t just a collection of words, data, and pie charts. That’s simply the information that’s being presented, a slideshow.
This information can just as easily be a blog post. And nobody in your audience came all the way out to the conference hall to read a blog post.
There’s a second ingredient to presentations that’s just as important as the content. It’s you, the presenter. So you’d best make yourself presentable.
Specifically, you need to be interesting or entertaining enough to hold the attention of everyone in the room for the duration of your time slot. You need to be energetic, driven, passionate.
This shows your audience you actually care about what you’re saying, which is very important. After all, if it looks like you don’t care about the content, why should your audience?
Fortunately, there’s an easy trick to stay engaged with your audience. Leave your note cards at home. That is, rehearse your presentation until you’ve got it memorized.
If you have to read your presentation, then your attention is focused on your notes instead of your audience. It’s impossible for the audience to connect with your voice/charisma when you’re not even looking at them.
But if your eyes are freed from your stack of notes, you can glance around at your audience and react to them. You’ll be in sync with the mood and energy in the room. You’ll also be free to move about the stage and put more energy into your presentation.
4. Use Visual Aids
Don’t just stand there talking and/or pointing to several monotonous, nondescript bulleted lists. Remember, your audience came to see more than words.
Find other ways to present the data. Create pie chart and find relevant photos, videos, and even brain teasers that can help you make your point.
How to Give a Presentation Effectively
Give them more than words and data. Give them a show they won’t forget.
Follow these tips on how to give a presentation effectively. If you found this guide helpful, share it on social media so it can help others, too.