Your hands go cold.
You look at the clock… Ten minutes to go. How are you going to get through this!
You aim the laser pointer at the screen behind you and start reading your first bullet point.
Someone in the audience smirks.
Another 10 minutes of this?
Giving a presentation can be one of life’s most distressing experiences. But it doesn’t need to be if you are you are prepared.
Here are 6 tips to give a presentation like a pro:
1. Know your topic
The ultimate key to delivering a confident, natural presentation is to know your topic well.
If you don’t have a solid grasp of the topic you will struggle through some points of your presentation.
As a first step, ensure you understand your topic well.
2. Understand where you are going
If you understand where you are going you will deliver a shorter, sharper presentation.
Imagine you walk from your home to the shopping mall.
If you plan out your trip and you know exactly where to go you will get there in the most efficient way possible.
If you don’t have a plan and just wander around until you bump into the shopping mall your trip could take hours.
The same goes for your presentation, plan with the end in mind and you’ll deliver a tighter, easy-to-understand presentation.
3. Create a 3-point outline
Now that you understand your topic well and understand where your presentation is going… It’s time to create an outline.
There are two rules for your outline:
- It should be easy to remember (think of a map rather than long lines of text)
- It should be no more than 3 main points
If you create a simple image or diagram for your presentation with no more than 3 points it will be:
- Easy for your audience to understand and retain (3 or less main points are easy to remember)
- Easy for you to remember what you need to say while you are presenting
4. Prepare questions
That’s right! You get to ask questions too!
When you ask questions to the audience your presentation becomes interactive.
Interactive presentations are ones where the audience pays attention.
The audience paying attention is better for them and better for you.
You need to practice your presentation.
Stand up and practice your entire presentation.
The goal is not perfection. The goal is to deliver your presentation confidently, using pauses, stressing key words, and knowing when to interact with your audience.
6. Get support
After you have practiced your presentation…
After you are comfortable with your delivery…
It’s time to create your slide deck.
Creating your slides should be the last step so that the slides act as support only. The slides shouldn’t be the main player in your presentation. That’s you!