As you move up the ranks, at some point you will have to deliver a presentation. The scale of the presentation can range. Possibly, delivering a pitch to your colleagues and executives, or speaking as a keynote to a large crowd at a conference.
Regardless of the scale, you have to deliver information in an organized manner to an audience in a confined setting. In order to ensure the aim of the presentation is achieved, you, the speaker have to adequately prepare.
Research and Preparation
Never go into a presentation cold. All flawless presentation begins with preparation. Preparation also helps shake off the anxiety and nerves. The more knowledgeable you are about the subject leads to stronger confidence and deliverability of the message.
Before even thinking about the type of audience you are going to address, you have to first do a thorough analysis of the topic of your presentation.
Start by outlining your key talking points. This starts as a complete brain dump either in notepad or directly in the slide presentation. Begin to research blogs, research studies, peer reviewed journals to help fill in gaps with your outline, and provide key statistics or quotes that will help drive home the thesis of your presentation.
Know Your Audience
Matching your content to your audience equates to a perfect marriage. It is good to determine the kind of audience you intend to address. This helps you to know what kind of language or specifics to include or not include during the presentation.
For example, a presentation to a technical unit will not be the same for a marketing unit. For a marketing unit, you should skip the geek speak. Describe technical items at a macro level, and present the business benefits to have the marketing team salivating over your product line.
As a public speaker, you should always have a high level of personal confidence. Always believe that you can and will do it and you will definitely be able to give your best. For a newcomer, confidence comes with repetition and preparation.
“I mean, listen we talking about practice. Not a game! We talking about practice.” -- Allen Iverson
Gaining confidence starts with practice. Walk through your presentation a couple times prior to the presentation. You may want to record yourself either with audio or video.
Audio can pick up speech disfluency or filler words -- "huh", "uh", "erm", "um", and "well” that happen during pauses while attempting to collect your thoughts. Some consultants contend these words tend to make your presentation more natural. However, you don’t want inundate your presentation with filler words.
With video, you can see your non-verbal communication idiosyncrasies, and practice correcting a few of your awkward gestures. Your posture says a lot about your confidence. Stand Stall. Don’t lean or slouch. Use your arms and hands to emphasize key points.
Give a Clear and Comprehensive Introduction of your presentation
Don’t burry the headline. Give the audience the deeds upfront, and spell out your objectives. The introduction outlines the aim of the presentations and maybe what the presenter expects from the audience during and after the presentation. This also helps to prepare the audience for the presentation, and put them in the right mood for the presentation.
Maintain Eye Contact with Your Audience
It is good to have a constant eye contact with the audience. This will help you to gauge their concentration and also to see if there is any kind of feedback from the audience.
Involve the Audience
This involves posing random questions to the audience either rhetoric or those that they can respond to. This helps the audiences understanding and also boosts their attention. Also involve comic relief, this helps to break the monotony from the serious concentration and also refreshes the mood of the audience.
A good presentation is vanilla. You have to add some cookie dough or snickers to the ice cream. Give quotes from famous scholars and also give references of books and other archives where more information is acquired. You can pull pop or sports references depending on the age or type of audience.