Business presentations can often make or break a deal. A good presenter is like a stage performer who knows their audience well.
Experienced presenters are well-versed with the presentation techniques that work. You, too, can master the art by practicing these tips.
How to Make a Presentation
What interests the audience? How can you get them to attentively listen to your presentation and grasp the value of what you are offering them?
These are the fundamental questions that presenters usually deal with.
In the world of business, you need to make presentations on various occasions. These can be sales presentations to prospective clients, project presentations to existing ones, or training presentations to internal teams. But, regardless of the context, every presentation starts with one basic rule—creating the right content.
The key to a successful presentation is to create engaging, relevant, and easy-to-understand content. Presentations with an overdose of text, data, or jargon may well cure the attendees of insomnia, but will definitely fail to serve the purpose.
Presentation Techniques And Guidelines
The style or the content of a presentation should correspond to your audience. If you want to make a great presentation, you can’t deliver a standard set of slides to all audiences. By tailoring the presentation as per your audience’s needs, you will be able to sustain their interest.
To help you learn how to prepare a presentation, let’s go through the five key elements or guidelines of presentation skills:
Hook the audience early:
A successful presentation is one that grabs the audience’s attention from the outset. You don’t necessarily need to be dramatic, but what you present should find resonance.
The best way to sustain the interest of your audience is to know them. Research about them and analyze what they look forward to hearing. Once you understand what your audience is interested in, make that information the basis of your presentation.
Use body language:
Guidelines of presentation skills lay great emphasis on the appearance and body language of the presenter. What you wear has to be in sync with the sensibilities of the people you are presenting to. A neat and well-groomed appearance makes the audience perceive the presenter as a confident and knowledgeable person.
Maintaining eye-contact with the audience and maintaining a smile can be highly reassuring and engaging.
The success of a presentation depends on how well you prepare for it. You need to be completely in control of the presentation’s flow. It should be so well-rehearsed that you need not rely on the bullet points or on reading each slide to find out what it talks about.
Practicing the presentation in front of a mirror, listening to audiotapes of yourself, and watching your rehearsal videos can help you in smoothening out the rough edges. You should focus on creating a cohesive presentation where you are always in control of what shows up on the screen.
Plan your content:
All the guidelines of presentation skills emphasize the importance of content and its styling. For instance, you shouldn’t use too many bullet points or stuff the slide with chunks of text.
The best way to deliver an engaging presentation is to show highlights in a graphic format and weave your story around those points. This will keep the audience engaged and ensure that they understand and remember whatever you share in the presentation.
Interact with the audience
Don’t make your presentations a monologue. Ask relevant questions to probe whether the audience is paying attention to your words. Interact with them, make them talk about what they think, and gently probe what the takeaways of the presentation are.
Such interaction would help you understand the audience better and also establish a stronger link with them.
In today’s world, presentation skills are an important professional attribute. Irrespective of where you are in your career, you must know effective presentation techniques. Harappa Education understands this need and offers the Speaking Effectively course that will help you learn how to communicate more effectively. The tools and frameworks such as the Rule of 3 and the Harappa PAM–Purpose, Audience, Message–Framework will help you make effective, engaging, and successful presentations. Sign up for the course today to ace your presentations and achieve career success!
Explore topics and skills such as Speaking Skills, Oratory Skills, Ethos, Pathos & Logos, Verbal Communication, Nonverbal Communication, and the Types of Communication from our Harappa Diaries blog section and communicate information effectively.
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