Eventually, most employees at any given company are going to need to deliver a presentation, or be compelled to deliver a presentation to introduce a new idea or initiative. If you have a presentation in mind or one assigned to you, heeding the six tips below from your friends at Dale Carnegie Training of Central Ohio will put you on the right track to delivering a stellar presentation that leaves a lasting impression.
1. Prepare Accordingly — The foundation of any presentation is the amount of preparation the speaker puts in behind the scenes. Develop a topic, flesh it out into concise, relevant and specific bullet points that tie back to the central theme and develop a narrative arc to follow. Then perform a handful of dry runs—in front of the mirror, a friend or colleague, your family, etc.
2. Open With Something Impactful — Open your presentation with something that will capture the audience’s attention. You can tell a story, share a compelling incident or relay an anecdote. Whatever method you choose, the first 2 to 3 minutes of your presentation can make or break your audience’s interest in what you have to say, so make it count.
3. Keep Your Presentation Short — Long-winded presentations that seem to have no real direction or purpose and lose an audience quickly. If you want to avoid being a bore that makes the audience snore, you should pare down your presentation to its slimmest, trimmest, most refined form.
4. Maximize Visual Aids — Including a visual aid with your presentation is a must these days. The trick is to incorporate it in such a way that it never overshadows your presentation itself, but complements it. PowerPoint is the most common means through which people add a visual and audio element to their presentations. Keep your visuals aesthetically noteworthy, but not so brazen as to steal focus from you.
5. Avoid The Statue Routine — Don’t stand behind a podium like a wax figure. Instead, relax, be casual, and be animated. Move around, wander about and most importantly make eye contact with a handful of audience members.
6. Never Apologize During The Presentation — This is a Public Speaking 101 lesson. Never apologize for mispronouncing a word or losing your place, confusing the order of your presentation or having difficulty with technology. Doing so will compromise your command and break the flow of your presentation. If you trip up, just move along.
Remember, there are four core components to dynamic presentations: (1) how much preparation you put into your presentation, (2) how well you maintain momentum during the presentation, (3) how animated you are and (4) how well you integrate visual aids into the presentation. These components need to come together seamlessly and flow naturally in order to captivate your audience and make your presentation memorable, and one that leaves a strong and lasting impression.
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