7 Tips for Effective Presentations

Planning and delivering an effective presentation is an important life-skill for students and business people alike. Even though the specifics may vary there are some important pointers that every effective presentation shares.

What is an Effective Presentation?

An effective presentation should:

  • Capture the audience’s interests
  • Focus on the audience’s needs
  • Develop mutual understanding
  • Show your passion
  • Inspire confidence
  • Tell stories
  • Meet your objectives

Let’s elaborate on these points one by one, shall we?

1. Capture the audience’s interests

If you want your audience to keep listening to the end, you need to grab their attention and keep them interested in the first 60 seconds.

You can do this by asking a thought-provoking question, revealing a shocking statistic, using a powerful quote, displaying creative visual aid, or playing a short video.

2. Focus on the audience’s needs

You’re not doing this to satisfy your personal interests. Well, even if you do, you still need to put your audience needs top and foremost.

Each slide of your presentation must answer the “What’s in it for me” question. Keep an eye on how your audience reacts to your presentation and adjust accordingly.

3. Develop mutual understanding

Everyone must know the context of the presentation. Make sure everyone is on the same page by avoiding ambiguous sentences.

Understand the settings in which the presentation takes place. A presentation done in a conference room has a different atmosphere compared to the one done in a makeshift emergency meeting room during an apocalyptic thunderstorm. The setting makes a lot of difference.

You also need to understand the time constraint. Does everyone in the room really have thirty minutes to spare to listen to your presentation? Are they rushed to go the next important meeting? Keep everything simple to avoid unnecessary long explanations.

Knowing your demographics is also essential.  The social and cultural aspect of your audience plays a big part in how they perceive your presentation.

4. Show your passion

Let’s not forget that an effective presentation must be presented by an effective presenter –you.

Don’t be ashamed to radiate your passion with your presentation. It’s time to be yourself. Assert yourself using appropriate posture and present a confident nature.

5. Inspire confidence

The best way to inspire confidence is by setting an example.

Be sure to practice before you make the presentation. The saying “practice makes perfect” may sound like a cliché, but it still works to this day.

If you can’t help being nervous before or during the presentation, take a deep breath. Do remember that even the best public speakers feel nervous at times. It’s normal.

Don’t forget about eye contact. Switch your gaze between the presentation and the audience. If you’re too nervous to look at them in the eyes, just focus on their noses. It’s a weird trick that you should definitely try.

6. Tell stories

There’s always a place for a good story in a presentation. If your company is trying to sell electric fireplaces, tell a story about how your family used to spend some quality time just sitting around the fireplace. Then relate to how families who live in small apartments these days can’t have that kind of experience.

Instead of focusing only on the products, choose a different angle and focus on for whom the product is made.

7. Meet your objectives

After all said and done, you still have your own objectives to meet. Be it a sale, a contract, or a simple acknowledgment. Be bold and state your call-to-action at the end of the presentation.

Don’t be shy now. You already did your best, now is the time to set everything on the table. Go and get them, tiger!

OK, that’s all for our 7 tips for effective presentations. Be sure to take notes after doing presentations to document which parts can you improve. Archive your successful ones as templates for future presentations. Better yet, turn them into ebooks and cash in on that too. Who knows, you could be a major player in the public speaking field.

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