Whether you are speaking to your networking group, at a tradeshow, a client (or prospective client) a keynote presentation, or to your office, it’s important for you to set the stage for an outstanding presentation. In this post, I am going to share with you 5 presentation best practices to help you rock the stage!
Let’s dive in!
Do Know Your Audience
Prepare for your upcoming presentation by knowing who will be sitting in the audience. Understanding the demographics of your audience, their interests, the type of info they are looking to receive will help you deliver the perfect message. If you aren’t sure who will be in the audience, ask the organizer for details about the people attending to help you design a presentation that will deliver high value.
Now that you know who your audience is and the message you will deliver, it’s time to practice. The more comfortable you are with your presentation, the more confident you will be when you hit the stage. Practicing will help you tame the butterflies you may have fluttering about in your stomach!
Don’t spend too much time talking about yourself
So many times people feel as though they need to “warm up” the audience by talking about and introducing themselves. Not to sound harsh, but people don’t really care about your dog, where you were born, or the past jobs you’ve held. The audience really wants to hear your message. Instead of taking people through your history, have the emcee introduce you by reading a short bio. Your job is to just start delivering amazing content!
Do Use More Graphics than Text
When creating a slide presentation, design with the back of the room in mind. Go for BIG, bright pictures with limited or no text. The slides you use should complement your presentation…they should not act as a crutch. Think twice before you put a screenshot of a spreadsheet or table on the screen. In most cases, no one can read the small print. Instead, consider converting the spreadsheet into a simple pie chart or bar graph that can visually describe what you are trying to explain.
Do Leave Time For Q & A
Q & A is what takes a presentation from good to great! It engages the audience and allows them to get the answers to their burning questions. If your audience is able to ask questions and leave with answers, they will leave the presentation feeling like they got the value you aimed to deliver!
Presentations can be intimidating or the can be exciting and fun! They are a shot of adrenaline for sure! What are some best practices you use that I didn’t mention here to make your presentations a hit? Tell us about them in the comment section.