"Think like a wise man but communicate in the language of the people"
The art of giving good presentations is critical and, like all effective communication, it requires preparation, focus on others, clear messages and a genuine approach. To prepare for a presentation think about what you want to achieve and it becomes easier.
- Get your message across
- Be interesting
- Be remembered – for the right reasons!
To do this you think about your audience. Who are they, what do they already know, what will interest them, what questions may they have?
Then decide on your presentation tools: slides, notes, visual aids. If you are using slides, remember that you are far more interesting than a PowerPoint slide, concentrate on what you have to say and don’t depend on the slides to do the talking. Slides should contain the key points while you provide the detail.
The golden rule of all presentation is rehearse, rehearse, rehearse. If you are prepared you will be more relaxed and in tune with your audience. Some people find this easy, others need to work at it but everyone needs to practise.
During your presentation try to talk to your audience, not just present at them. Use a conversational tone, plain English, tell stories and use metaphors.
Keep it simple. Lots and lots of data or information will be lost. People can only remember three things at a time so keep your messages simple and summarise well.
Relax and enjoy. Try to manage your nerves, rehearsing will help and remember to breathe.