How To Ace An Important Presentation

Few relish the act of public speaking, and there is no doubt that it is an art form that must be practiced and rehearsed. Inevitably, most of us will be required to partake in a presentation at some point during our lives, whether it is for school, work, or external activity. There is always a fear that you will fluff your words, miss a slide, or simply put your audience to sleep, and all of these things combine to produce the familiar butterflies which so often accompany this task.

To help you out, we have some tips for acing a presentation. These will help you capture your audience, stay cool and calm, and deliver a talk that is memorable for all the right reasons!

Know Your Topic

The most important aspect of planning and delivering an excellent presentation is to make sure you know what is expected. Make a brief outline of everything you need to cover to make sure you don’t omit crucial information and to give you a basic structure for the presentation. If you are less confident about the topic, take the time to research everything you may need to know thoroughly. Studying will also help you to answer and navigate any awkward questions.

Remember To KISS

There is a temptation with some presentations to throw in every single thing you have ever learned about the topic, as well as all possible hypotheses, ideas, and musings. Too much information will put your audience to sleep and leave them thoroughly confused, so it is best to KISS—keep it simple, stupid.

Pick one area or angle and focus on that, and make sure your talk is logical, chronological, and easy to follow. This also includes the aesthetic of your presentation. Now is not the time for bright pictures and flashing text. Instead, pick one of the professional presentation templates, or use one of the many free Google slides templates, and stick to it for every slide. This will add visual consistency, and help the audience to focus on your words, not the slide.

Practice In Advance

One of the best ways to become confident in delivering your presentation is to practice. It can be a good idea to perform your speech to someone with no understanding of the topic; this will tell you if it is accessible and easy to follow. You can also rehearse with someone who understands the subject, to help you identify any glaring holes or gaps. Ideally, you could join a presentation training workshop in order to see substantial progress.

Running through the presentation in advance also allows you to catch any nasty surprises with your slides—there is nothing worse than confidently clicking forward to a blank page or one which is totally out of sequence.

Remember To Breathe

No matter how nervous you are, remember that it is just a presentation, and life will resume as normal when you are finished. The best advice is to try and enjoy the experience as much as possible. Your presentation is your chance to show off your knowledge and educate your audience and can be a fun chance to share your passion for a topic. Take a deep breath, don’t race your words, and remember to smile!

Dragan Sutevski

Posted by Dragan Sutevski

Dragan Sutevski is a founder and CEO of Sutevski Consulting, creating business excellence through innovative thinking. Get more from Dragan on Twitter. Contact Dragan