How to Deliver a Great Presentation
Delivering a good presentation is a vital skill for making your business a success. Whether it's to boost your team from within, gain new business or get investors on board, you need to be able to communicate well.
Even for the most seasoned presenters, there's always more to learn. Particularly, as the higher your position and the more successful your company, the more that's at stake. One Silicon Valley CEO was quoted as saying “I can always get better. Every point up or down in our share price means billions of dollars in our company’s valuation. How well I communicate makes a big difference." Even on a smaller scale, investment in your presentation skills now can only benefit you in the future.
Try our key advice for delivering a good presentation so you get the result you want - every time.
Take the Audience on a Journey
Make a plan for your presentation from beginning to end. Where do you want to get to? How can you get there? Following a structure will ensure you don't miss the key points and will create highlights too. 'Wow' moments are important to stick in the minds of your audience. What do you really want them to take home with them?
A plan also helps create a narrative. People naturally love to listen to stories. It's one of the oldest forms of entertainment and communication. Weaving a story throughout your presentation and taking your audience on a journey will grip their interest and keep it flowing.
Short and Snappy
Editing is just as important as planning. Try to be ruthless when cutting down to keep it short and sweet. It can be tempting to show off everything you know and include all the minute details when you first try presenting. Unfortunately, it tends not to have the desired effect.
Keep slides to a minimum and cut out anything that isn't necessary. This helps keep the key information at the forefront and minimise confusion. Being a good editor forces you to work out what really matters.
Don't Forget the Visual!
It's proven that the inclusion of images aids our memory incredibly. Molecular biologist, John Medina, says “Hear a piece of information, and three days later you’ll remember 10% of it. Add a picture and you’ll remember 65%.”
Replace some of the words in your slides for pictures and stand a much better chance at making an impact. Having said that, keep your images relevant. There's little point in including a visual that will warp a memory and confuse your audience later on. Effective use of images boosts the text alongside to improve delivery.
Practice Makes Perfect
Practice, practice, practice. A surprising number of people don't fully prepare before a presentation. There's a difference between glancing over your notes and putting the time in to really commit your message to memory.
Some people warn against 'over-practicing' to avoid sounding robotic and rehearsed. This is a valid concern and the reason you don't necessarily need to be memorising a script word for word if that doesn't work for you. Some people will be able to do so and deliver the presentation comfortably. Others won't. But sufficient practice can take you past this point where the speech becomes natural.
Presentations aren't always easy. They can be difficult, anxiety-inducing experiences. But enough practice and the right advice can take some of the pressure off. Try our tips and let us know what you think!
How do you prepare for your big presentations?