Have you ever witnessed somebody give a presentation and become uninterested after the first couple of sentences? Have you ever been nervous that a presentation you have to give could have a similar effect? Here are 5 top tips to take into consideration when preparing and delivering a presentation at college, university or in the work place.
1. Use images, cut down on words
Your audience cannot read huge amounts of text and listen to you attentively at the same time. Use images, graphs or small tables to illustrate your points/information, and keep the use of text to a minimum. Text should only be used to emphasise the main points you say.
Tip: Make notes using small cards or the notes section within the presentation program on your computer to refer to as reminders of what to say, if required. The notes section holds more text on your screen which audience does not see on the big screen.
2. Use relevant, interesting information
Make sure the information you convey specifically relates to the topic or answers the question at hand. Use information that is interesting; information that shows a trend, is surprising or is humorous, for example.
3. Forget the flashy effects – focus on a clean layout
Use two or three main colours for your slides and text, and keep the theme consistent. Space out your images and text out generously and try not to make your slides cluttered or have too many elements grabbing the viewer’s attention at once. You may be tempted to spend time spicing up your presentation with animations and transition effects. But leave that until last, limit your use and keep them basic.
4. Don’t say ‘um’ – speak confidently
Once you have your content in order and know what you’re going to say, then be brave and be confident. Try not to stall and use filler words such as ‘um’ and ‘err’. Take deep breathes and speak at a steady pace.
5. Keep your head up and make eye contact
Try to keep your head and eyes pointed in the direction of the audience – this helps to portray confidence, even if you’re nervous. Make eye contact with your audience while you speak. If prolonged eye contact is difficult for you then focus on the top of or just above the heads of the crowd. This will give the illusion of great eye contact and extreme confidence!
Do you have any more tips on how to deliver a good presentation?
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