23 tips for better presentations

23 tips for better presentations
Photo by Teemu Paananen / Unsplash
In: delivery, design

What you do before, during, and after your presentation can make a big difference in how well it's received. Here are some pointers to follow.

1. Keep it simple - don't try to cram too much information into your presentation. Stick to the key points you want to get across and be concise in your delivery.

2. Make sure your slide deck is visually appealing - use high-quality images, graphics and videos to break up text and add interest.

3. Don't rely on slides alone - use props, whiteboards or even handouts to supplement your presentation and keep the audience engaged.

4. Practice, practice, practice - before delivering your presentation to clients or investors, make sure you've rehearsed it several times so you're comfortable with the material.

5. Time yourself - ensure your presentation is the appropriate length by timing yourself during a dress rehearsal. This will help you make sure you don't run over or leave anything out.

6. Hook your audience from the start - open with a bang by telling a personal story, sharing an interesting statistic or posing a thought-provoking question.

7. Keep it interactive - encourage audience participation by asking questions, conducting polls or holding Q&A sessions.

8. Be prepared for the unexpected - have a backup plan in case technology fails or you lose your place. Keep your cool and remember that the audience is on your side.

9. Engage all the senses - use visuals, audio and even smell (if appropriate) to create a well-rounded presentation that will resonate with viewers.

10. Tell a story - people are more likely to remember information if it's presented in the form of a narrative. Structure your presentation as a tale, with a beginning, middle and end.

11. Paint a picture - along with stories, metaphors and analogies can help make your points more relatable and easier to remember.

12. Keep it positive - focus on the benefits of your product or service, rather than dwelling on the negatives.

13. Be passionate - if you're not excited about what you're presenting, chances are your audience won't be either. Show some enthusiasm and let your personality shine through.

14. Be yourself - presenting is not about being someone you're not. Be genuine, be authentic and let your own unique style come through.

15. Connect with your audience - try to establish a personal connection with viewers by making eye contact, using their name occasionally and speaking in a conversational tone.

16. Dress the part - appearance matters, so dress appropriately for the occasion. If you're not sure what to wear, err on the side of being too formal rather than too casual.

17. Use body language - in addition to spoken words, your body language communicates volumes. Be aware of your posture, gestures and facial expressions throughout the presentation.

18. Make an exit - as with any performance, you want to leave the audience wanting more. Thank them for their time and end on a high note.

19. Follow up - send a thank-you note or email after your presentation, along with any additional information or resources you promised.

20. Evaluate and adjust - take some time to reflect on your performance afterwards and identify areas for improvement. Then make the necessary changes for next time.

21. Know your audience - before crafting your presentation, take into account the needs and interests of your particular audience. This will help you tailor the content and delivery to them.

22. Keep it organized - an effective presentation has a clear structure with a beginning, middle and end. Use signposts (like headings and transitions) to guide viewers through your content.

23. Use simple language - avoid using jargon or technical terms that your audience may not be familiar with. Stick to straightforward language that everyone can understand.

In conclusion, I hope that these tips will help you feel more confident in your next presentation. Remember to focus on your message and not on yourself, take some deep breaths before you start, and use visualization techniques to calm your nerves. And most importantly, have fun with it! The audience wants you to succeed, so go out there and give them the best presentation of your life.

Written by
Tom Tran
Business presentation designer, marketing manager, and goldendoodle dad.
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