It’s time to give that business presentation that you’ve been working on for weeks, maybe even months.
You know your material and what you want your audience to take away. But which is more important: your material or your delivery?
Careful, my analytical, numbers-oriented reader: the real answer may surprise you. The fact of the matter is: style is the key to your substance.
A guest post by Heather Legg.
Try incorporating the following tips the next time you present; they will make a big difference:
1. Great Presentation Ideas: Be Yourself
Think back to your favorite presentations. Aren’t they a lot more interesting when the presenter feels like someone you’d like to hang out with …instead of a stuffy business guy (or gal)? Loosen up a little and be yourself. Don’t be afraid to lighten the mood a little and make things more comfortable.
2. Great Presentation Ideas: Be Careful of Your Visuals
You’ll probably have some visual aids (posters, charts, a PowerPoint or Prezi presentation). Whatever you choose, keep it visually appealing. Don’t overload your visuals with words, especially hard to read fonts or print size that’s too small. Let your images speak and just use words as captions. Your audience should be listening to you, not reading slides and posters.
3. Great Presentation Ideas: Practice Your Speaking!
Even if you know your material inside and out, you still need to practice your delivery. Moving around and gesturing can be very effective, but too much of a good thing can also be distracting. Bottom line – look at ease and be natural – practicing will get you there.
4. Great Presentation Ideas: Look at Your Audience and Really Get Them Engaged
Make eye contact, and remember that sincere questions force your audience to consider what you are saying. What questions will you ask your audience, when you are speaking? Are you sincere?
5. Great Presentation Ideas: Know Your Equipment and Your Space
If you can, get in the room to practice beforehand. Keep a backup flash drive with you and a printed copy of your presentation material.
The big idea for your best presentation? Be prepared to befriend your audience.
Your message deserves a certain style – a style that’s authentic and engaging. If you can’t connect with your audience, the best material in the world won’t matter much. Take time to create the connection that makes the difference – that’s the secret!
About the Author: Heather Legg is a freelance writer who covers a broad range of topics and sites ranging from small businesses to family fun to reputation management.