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A lot of people dread giving presentations. That’s because it’s stressful be the center of attention. Also, a presentation is tough when you’re trying to sell something or if you’re addressing a group of people who aren’t inherently interested in you or your ideas.
Some of us have a knack for public speaking. However, most people aren’t blessed with this skill. Here are four ways to help nail your next big presentation.
Research Your Audience
Knowing your audience is arguably just as important as knowing about your presentation topic. That’s because you’re not going to effectively communicate ideas to people if you’re not meeting them at their level.
Therefore, no matter the scope or size of the presentation, you need to do some background research about who’s going to be there. For example, you’re going to need to offer different information if you’re giving a talk about nuclear science to a group of experts versus to people who know nothing about the subject.
Also, depending on the situation, there might be cultural elements you should know about before giving your presentation. A non-profit organization that focuses on promoting clean energy isn’t going to want to hear about how they should invest in oil companies. By understanding more about your audience, you can better tailor your presentation to their wants.
Lecturing is an ineffective way of engaging with people. In fact, university students taught with standard lecturing versus active techniques are more than 50 percent more likely to fail. Standing in front of people and talking at them isn’t a good method for communicating, at all. What’s more, sticking to this format for your presentation is just lazy.
Show, Don’t Tell
It’s essential to find ways to get your audience engaged with what you’re saying.
You’ve probably heard this saying many times: “Show, don’t tell.” There’s really no way to overstate the importance of this idea in all facets of communication.
Therefore, create conversations. This will require people to engage with and begin to understand your content. In short, if you plan to just lecture people, you’ve prematurely failed.
Build an Interactive Visual Presentation
Visual tools are a key element of many presentations. It’s essential you find ways to make this aspect add value. How many times have you sat though a PowerPoint where the speaker just read their slides verbatim? Not only is this boring, it’s a waste of everyone’s time.
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Find ways to make your PowerPoint, Google Slides, or any other type of visual guide more engaging for the audience. This is some of the most relevant presentation advice for people who use these tools.
Polls and surveys are both super effective for this purpose. Poll Everywhere provides integrated solutions for building real-time polls and surveys into PowerPoint or Google Slides. Also, your audience members can access these polls and surveys through their smartphones or other devices.
Mix Up Your Slides
You’ll also want to mix up your slides in terms of content. For example, don’t inundate people with bullet points. Instead, use images, videos, and other elements to make your presentation more interesting and accessible.
Do a Better Job Preparing for Your Presentation
You can’t hit a home run without doing some batting practice. Therefore, don’t expect to nail your presentation if you don’t put in some groundwork ahead of time. What’s more, people will notice if you don’t adequately prepare yourself.
Therefore, think about speed, eye contact, your body movements—everything relating to delivery. Going through the presentation ahead of time will help you get comfortable with what you have to say. Also, it will help you to identify and change any parts that don’t flow well. If you are unsure about your upcoming presentation, consider hiring a professional public speaking company. By enrolling in TED coaching courses, you can certainly improve your presentation skills and public speaking overall.
Review Your Previous Presentations
It’s a good idea to revise your previous presentations. However, don’t just give the same one over and over. There’s no way it’s perfect. Therefore, be honest with yourself and look for ways you can improve.
Also, asking others for advice can be helpful. People who were in the audience at your last presentation, experts in your field, or masterful public speakers can all be wonderful resources.
You Can Nail Your Next Presentation
Few people really love giving presentations. That’s because they require a lot of work and can be stressful for those who don’t feel comfortable with public speaking.
Regardless, presentations are a part of business life. Fortunately, you can take certain actions that will help you do well with your next one.