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Everything is about presentation. How well you know the subject matter, how are you going to pitch it, what tools are you going to use in order to drive your point, are your statistics and references up to date and double-checked?
If you feel startled by all of these questions, and believe me, those are just the tip of the iceberg, then you should pay close attention to the following, because you’re going to learn about the best practices of giving amazing presentations that will land you that promotion or close the new deal.
Remember to Keep it Simple
The great Albert Einstein once said: “If you can’t explain it in a simple manner, then you don’t understand it yourself”. Some timeless advice right there. How would you expect to give valuable information to people and make it easy to understand if you use big words and very complex sentences?
Over-complication builds nothing but stress and sets the stage for bad feedback, confusion and agitation. When people are confused, they tend to act defensively and oppose your ideas, no matter how good they are. If you stick to plain and transparent language, you’ll be able to reach people and get their approval.
No More Than Three Points
You might find it hard to squeeze a merger proposal into a three-point presentation, but it is doable, and very effective. This is directly correlated with trying not to overwhelm people with information, because their attention will wander off, they’ll forget what you were talking about and will be reluctant to accept your offer.
So just keep it concise. Any type of project can be narrowed down to three points, and then you can expand them accordingly. State the three points at the beginning and summarize them at the end to remind the audience what you’ve talked about.
Engage with the Audience
If you are not used to audience participation for whatever reason – maybe you have a train of thought you don’t want interrupted or simply like to state your point from start to finish – you should change your tactic as soon as possible.
Audience engagement is one of the best ways to create an environment people will feel comfortable in as well as encouraged to give their valuable opinion and a positive feedback.
A presentation where you just speak without any visual aids to drive your point and for people to understand it better and accept is a presentation destined for disaster. Make sure to use lots of pictures and animations, videos and statistics in order to make it easy to understand and just keep it interesting.
People forget easily and if they get the chance to see what you are talking about, it will stick with them. That’s why you should use visuals to your advantage and one of the best ways to do it is by crafting a professional PowerPoint presentation that will contain everything you need to drive your point home, make the audience laugh and connect with your story.
Honesty is Rewarded
You should always be passionate about what you’re trying to convey to the listener. Passion leads to honesty and if people notice you’re passionate and honest in your presentation, they will connect with you, and most importantly, that passion will rub off on them too.
Unless you’re a Greek statue, you’re boring when you’re stationary. Move, interact, walk across the room and into the audience, use hand gestures and accentuate parts of your story, bring it to life as much as possible. Interact with people and look them in the eye, they will appreciate it. People love storytellers, so craft a story and make sure to tell it in a suitably dramatic fashion. The audience will be thrilled by your passion and performance.
Share Personal Stories
In order to keep people interested, share some personal stories that correlate with the presentation at hand. People connect with personal experiences and by using real-life examples, they will be able to resonate and connect with you.
Conversation is Key
Try not to lecture your audience, unless you’re a professor, but even then, a conversational tone is far more appreciated. Even if the subject matter is mundane, be sure to use real-life examples to keep the engaging flow going.
Consult an Expert
There are people who specialize in preparing others for public appearances. So, why not take advantage of their skills and expertise. They can not only alleviate some stress, but also share practical tips and tricks on effective speaking and presentation.
Practice Makes Perfect
Rehearse your presentation in front of a mirror, and then in front of your friends or family. They can provide valuable feedback on your performance that you can incorporate immediately, while the mirror will tell you a lot about your body language, facial expressions, and generally how to behave in front of a crowd.
In the end, you should enjoy your presentation, and others will enjoy it as well. Hopefully, these tips have gotten you well on our way to delivering your best presentation yet!
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