Women In Business

11 top tips to give fantastic presentations

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For  most of us, speaking in public doesn’t come easy. And that can make presentations hard. But there are simple strategies and tactics you can use to make sure you give fantastic presentations. Following are my top presentation tips to help you nail it.

WHEN PREPARING THE PRESENTATION

 

20 word pitch

Similarly to an elevator pitch, you need to make sure you are getting your message across crisply. Try to summarise it in less than 20 words. If you can’t do that, keep working at it. And working at it. And working at it. Until you can.
And those key words will be invaluable when it comes to the actual presentation. They’re the ones on which you’ll be able to ad-lib.

Limit the slides

The 10 -20  30 Rule: no more than 10 slides, no longer than 20 minutes, no larger than 30 point font. Go over those limits and you risk losing the audience, or boring them into stunned oblivion.

Make slides the summary, not the story

Don’t spell out everything on the slides. Have dot points and lists you speak to and expand on. You want to catch their attention and keep it. Think headings and subheadings, but cut out all the rest. Okay, you can write it in when you’re drafting and practising, but then … cut, cut, cut.

Frame it for the audience

Write the presentation with the audience in mind. Yes, you have to get the information across, but try and create the presentation from their point of view as much as possible. Not what the idea does for you, but what it does for them. Try and picture yourself as the audience when drafting… make sure you not only give them the bait, but the hook. And sharpen that hook to land the biggest fish.

WHEN MAKING THE PRESENTATION

Get there early

Give yourself enough time to set up, test that everything is working and have a final look over your notes. Being prepared will help you relax. This is now YOUR room. Know it, and OWN it.

Take it slowly

Nervousness tends to make us speak more quickly, and that can also make us appear more nervous than we are. Speak more slowly, take time to breathe, take time to pause, take a couple of seconds to think here and there if you need … it all gives emphasis to your presentation.
When you’re thinking of what to say next, breathe in instead of saying ‘um’… then make your point. Ums make you seem vacant, and we know you’re not. We want the audience to know you’re not, as well.

Make eye contact

While speaking, slowly swing your gaze around the room, making sure you ‘hit’ every face. It makes you appear more confident, more communicative, and prevents you focusing on the reactions of just one person. Don’t just focus on the most senior person in the room, or the heavyweight decision-maker. Make sure your eye contact lands on everybody, including the assistant or notetaker, too. Never underestimate the potential power of an assistant, many of whom are asked for input by their bosses.

Project 

You may or may not have a microphone, but either way, practice projecting your voice. Let it resonate, and try and have it ‘hit’ the back wall of the room — without yelling, of course. Practice this at home, using the family as test audience. If you don’t have family to pressgang into being lab rats, bribe some friends to have a private performance.
And if you are given a microphone, remember it’s better to use it from a foot or so away, and project, than use it close up and whisper like a little girl.

Be lively

Use voice inflection, smile if and when appropriate, use the occasional hand gesture for emphasis — but don’t end up ‘conducting the orchestra’ for the entire presentation.

Don’t regurgitate the notes

Don’t just read parrot-fashion from your notes; practice them beforehand so you can ad-lip (or seem to) through some of them. And never, ever simply read through the power point slides you’re showing, or handouts you’re giving. Parrots are for birdcages, not for business presentations.

Buy time

When asked a question, buy time to gather your thoughts by starting off with ‘that’s a good question’. It gives you time to think and prepare a few words of your answer. If you don’t have answer to hand, say ‘I don’t have the data for that with me, but would like to get it and get back to you’. And do it.

About Amanda Rose

Founder and CEO of The Business Woman Media. Amanda Rose is also the only 'strategic connector', a brand strategist, keynote speaker and host of Amanda Rose TV. Connect with Amanda Rose on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or visit www.amandaroseofficial.com.

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3 Comments

  1. Pingback: 11 top tips to give fantastic presentations | P...

  2. german@slidemodel.com'

    German Viera

    June 21, 2016 at 9:14 pm

    Dear Amanda,

    Even though the article is not new, is really current in its content. My name is German Viera, I’m co-owner of SlideModel, a startup committed to help professionals create outstanding presentation decks.

    I will add to your tip “Make slides the summary, not the story”, that slides should reinforce the presenters message. It is important that the presenter creates a really visual and impactful deck , with meaningful metaphors that amplify the speech.

    For this purpose I suggest the use of PowerPoint Templates; this tool will help presenters choose diagrams, images and clipart that will empower the message, without adding boring texts and bullet points. Your readers can check some examples at https://slidemodel.com/templates/

    Also, if you want to try it for free, you can check our free powerpoint templates section, https://slidemodel.com/free-powerpoint-templates/

    Great Article,

    Regards,

    GV

  3. johnata88@usa.com'

    johnatan

    December 6, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    Thanks for the article! Great short article!

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