The crowd, the venue, the mood, the lights, and at the end a standing ovation.
Don’t you like it?
But then how does it happen?
In one word, preparation.
But then again, what else?
But unwrapped chocolates don’t sell; do they? Companies spend a huge fortune on packaging their products well. The sole purpose is to sell while at the same time cementing their brand in the minds of customers.
As a presenter you should be doing the same. The content has to be wrapped in attractive packages. That is why you should take time to master presentation skills.
Well there are many things you need to fine tune for a great presentation. Let us look at some of them.
Do you know where you are going to? Or in other words, do you know where you are leading your audience to? Perhaps that is the first thing you need to be clear about. “What am I trying to accomplish through this presentation? Am I trying to inform, persuade, or entertain them? Do I want them to act out on something that I have told them about?” If you know your destination then you can plan the travel; can’t you?
Now let us begin. Have you ever know a duller beginning than, “I am going to talk about this topic today.” The presentation is actually over even before it is begun if this is the way you plan to begin your speech. Displaying your topic on the slide before you start talking has the same negative impact. Be creative. Start with a story. Show a slide that captures imagination. Ask a few good questions. Let the audience respond to you. Positively.
Do not forget that power point presentations are not substitutes for all that makes speeches memorable. You are the centre of attention. Do not let your slides steal the show. Now that doesn’t mean you are not to show superbly crafted slides. Not at all. What it means however is that you should not cram your slides with too much information and read it out to the audience. Make your slides simple. Make less speak more; show more; and impact more. The lesser number of slides; the better.
Think about something creative during your presentation. Is there an object, live or inanimate you can bring to display at the right time? Is there a bit of a song you can play or a very short video that will impact? Is there someone you can call on stage; and will his or her appearance make an impact? Would you like doing a few balancing acts with a football in case your topic is related to sports and maybe football in particular? Think.
Then there are other subtle elements like making proper eye contact. When you look at people it engages them It makes them feel included in the talk. The way you stand, the way you walk, and use gestures will also determine the outcome of your presentation. You should be able to exercise leadership in your talk. Without that there will be no impact.