The ability to deliver a powerful presentation is a critical skill for various business and work settings. Regardless of where you are giving the presentation—work, school, or an outside conference—engaging the audience with your message guarantees a memorable speech.
Being afraid of speaking in public doesn’t mean that you can’t deliver a great presentation (affiliate link)! At some time or another, most of us will have to give a presentation, so learning how is important.
Just like everything, the more you practice, the better you will be. The CGS Team has put together a few tips to help you take your presentations to the next level!
How to give a powerful presentation:
Plan & Prepare
Although this should be a given, it is an absolute must. Plan your presentation from start to finish.
A few questions to think about in the planning process are: Will you be using PowerPoint? Will you be speaking from notecards? Will you be reading from a board?
However you plan to give the presentation, make sure you do your research. You will not be able to include everything, but identify the most important points to include in the visuals. Once your visual is complete, you can prepare the text.
Give your audience an overview of what the presentation will include. Prepare your presentation with a goal in mind and keep your focus on the goal.
If you have a lot of information to cover, keep each topic to a minimum. It can be distracting to see an audience getting impatient with a presentation before it is even halfway finished. Make sure you time yourself and practice, practice, practice!
Day of Delivery
Get to your destination early and familiarize yourself with the space. Will you be in a conference room at work? Will you be in an auditorium at school?
Taking the time to walk through your environment before your delivery will allow you to prepare for any unexpected occurrences. Look for an air conditioning vent or extremely bright lights. Plan your standing position around potential distractions.
If possible, get set up early. Avoid having to get your PowerPoint running while everyone is watching. Ask your manager or teacher if you can get set up a few minutes before you are scheduled to deliver.
If you have handouts or items for the audience, set everything up before the audience comes in. If you’re presenting in a conference room or classroom, you can leave items at each seat.
Lastly, check your appearance. Chances are everything is great, but run to the bathroom and do a quick confirmation.
Make sure there is nothing lingering in your teeth and use some mouth wash if you can. Double check that all of your buttons are buttoned and everything is tucked in.
Checking your appearance means you don’t have to worry about the audience staring at an untied shoelace you somehow missed!
Giving a Powerful Presentation
The time to deliver is now! You have prepared all of your materials, familiarized yourself with your presentation space, and set up your presentation early to avoid delays.
Before you start, take a deep breath. It’s very common for your heart to race before speaking in public. Slowing your breathing will help tame that adrenaline.
While giving your speech, engage your audience. Talk to them, not at them. Make eye contact and walk the space. Use emotion to keep the audience intrigued.
If you are delivering positive results or feedback, express your happiness with information. If your presentation allows, don’t be afraid to smile. This will allow you to appear relaxed and in control, which will resonate with the audience.
Remember your timing. It is very easy to talk too fast or too slow when speaking, so do your best to stay on point. When wrapping up your presentation, ask the audience if they have any questions.
If not, thank them for their time as an ending note.
There is a lot involved with delivering a great presentation, but don’t let that stop you from knocking it out! If you come prepared, it will show.
Do you have any tips for helping fight a fear of speaking? How about some words of advice for those who haven’t given a presentation before? Share your thoughts with the group by leaving a comment below!