Whether it’s part of your regular job or not, you’ve been assigned to make a presentation. It could be as simple as bringing a team up to speed. Or it could be as nerve-wracking as laying out the reasons for a potential partner and why they should merge their business with yours.
Regardless of the outcome or purpose, everyone should be able to present a successful presentation. While in some parts, it does require a few social skills, by and large, you can craft a successful presentation following some of these tips.
1. Hone Your Speech
First and foremost, you can’t give a pleasant presentation if no one can stand to hear you talk. As such, you’re going to need to take some time to work on those speech and social skills of yours. It’s as easy as starting in front of a mirror. Practice what you’re going to say loosely. No one wants to hear someone talk like they’re following an obvious script. Keep yourself loose and comfortable and try to remove awkward stammers and pauses.
Everything you say should be said with a purpose. It’s easy for people to stop listening after a while, just through how the brain works, so you have to capitalize on the small amount of time where they are capable of paying attention.
After some mirror work, step up your game. Grab your family or friends and have them sit through your presentation. You can gauge from their open opinions on what you need to improve. There are quite a few online speech workshops you can utilize, too, if you feel like you need extra help. The resources are there to aid you.
2. Add In Some Pictures
Another tip to keep your presentation interesting is to include photos. By using the photography website builder, you can find appropriate photos to include in your presentation. They’re professional, clean, and they can give your listeners something to focus on when the presentation has to become word-heavy.
Just be sure that you use the correct amount of photos. The information you want to be transferred to them shouldn’t be covered up with stunning photography. Nor should it detract from their seeking the information on the slide. A simple photo on every other slide should be enough. It also doesn’t hurt to add in a bit of humorous photography here and there, too, just to keep things interesting and lively.
This can be difficult to pull off and should be reserved for those who already possess a great deal of charm or for those who know their listeners well enough to understand their humor. One of the worst things you can do is make a joke and not have those in your audience understand or appreciate it. Or, even worse, they could take offense to it.
When it comes to humor, it’s best to stick with it. For executives, especially, intelligence is attractive, and a good wit is a sign of an intelligent mind. Stay away from crass or overused jokes. Self-deprecating humor can be good for certain groups, but it can also make potential partners not take you seriously which could injure you later in the relationship.
As such, use humor, but only if you think you can pull it off. It can be a useful way to break that initial ice and make a human connection with those to whom you are presenting. It can also be used as a good closer since you’ve tickled them in a way that will help them remember you afterward.
4. Make That Connection
This step may require you to perform a bit of research on those who are going to be present at your presentation. However, it can pay off in a big way. By understanding the histories and backgrounds of those who make up your audience, you can craft your presentation in a way that will speak to them on an individual level.
Empathy is how you reach people and make them care about what you’re saying. If you can forge that connection from the start, you can be sure that they’re going to take whatever it is you’re saying afterward to heart.
Consider these tips the next time you present.