So now it’s time to look at the remaining topics in order to create that amazing presentation.
- Timing: Speaking too fast, rambling on
- Neglecting to check equipment
- Reading from notes
- Reading from the slides/reciting bullet points
- Failing to rehearse
Whether speaking too fast (thus finishing earlier than expected) or rambling on with too much un-necessary details (causing you to rush through parts of the presentation or having to go over time). This shows negative points about your capabilities from poor time-management, possible lack of confidence and disrespect to the organiser and/or delegates and this can be addressed by rehearsing.
Three key areas to successful are practice, Practice and PRACTICE and always do this out loud. Many years ago I rehearsed in my head and when it came to the delivery, my head and mouth didn’t seem to engage as they should have!
If you need to slow down through nerves, write ‘Slow Down’ on your note sheets or if you have too much to present in the allotted time, actually reduce the amount that goes into the presentation, honestly, it’s unlikely people will take everything in so portray the more important elements.
I experienced this once when at an event and the projection system didn’t immediately connect with my laptop. Fortunately it was down to some settings was resolved. Nonetheless, even though turning up 20 minutes early, it still resulted in people waiting 10 minutes before we started which can kill the mood to begin with but incorporate that into the presentation, don’t highlight it and move on (remember last week’s note?).
Make sure you put your presentation together before the event. Check all handouts are sorted and put into order. Any equipment you are using works correctly.
Arrive half an hour before the scheduled time and check it all works correctly. If all’s fine, then spend some time to relax and speak to people as they turn up. All this relays a level of confidence for the delegates.
As mentioned before, spend time practicing before the event so you are familiar with the content, its order and timing.
If needs be, use a few bullet points but the more you rehearse, the more familiar you become with the presentation and even if you do not know it verbatim, you’ll still come across more professional and knowledgeable.
Don’t be fooled into thinking that some people just have it. Everyone that comes across proficient and slick have rehearsed and practiced over and over.
Bullet Point reading
I will assume that the people you are presenting to can read. Therefore, be respectful and don’t read the bullet points aloud.
Remember, these headliners for what you wish to present. Treat them as such. Bring up the bullet point and, without reading it, go on to make your point and the observers can read it for themselves. If you display all bullets at once, go into your speech and allow them to work out what element you are talking about.
This has been mentioned throughout so best to understand its importance. It REALLY does make all the difference to your presentation. And do this out loud, even in front of a mirror so you can see what those in front of you see. All too often, rehearsing in your head is different from practicing speaking out loud, trust me on this!
All too often the energy is central to the presentation and the wrap up is just that. This is your opportunity to re-visit what you’ve already presented in a draft but uplifting format and if you have a little diamond up your sleeve, bring it out to shine here thus leaving the audience inspired and uplifted.
Oh, before I forget, one last little tip … Question Time! Decide in advance WHEN you want questions to be asked. Either set these at set intervals throughout the presentation or ask the delegates to save them until the end (not always practical as the flow has gone by then for them). If allowing questions at any time, insure you manage these as questions raised may well stimulate others to get involved which could potentially throw timing out of the window!
That’s all 9 areas covered but nonetheless, presentations are not easy, especially if relatively new to doing them or not generating the desired results. Should you be looking to put together an amazing presentation and looking for support, you would do well by contacting Neil at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 07761 187238 where you are assured a warm welcome.
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