In this article, I will show you the 11 tips to make perfect presentations. A presentation simply refers to that situation where you have to face a crowd or a group of people and deliver a pre-planned speech with or without audio visual aid. It is a demonstration, lecture, or speech, presented to an audience. Wikipedia says that it usually is intended to inform, persuade, or build good will.
So you are standing in front of so many people, expecting you to talk on a topic, a project, an opportunity or a problem. They all want to see how you approach the topic. All eyes are glaring, wide, expectant and sometimes impatient. These people know the drill.. After you are done, they are expected to clap. But what prompts a large audience to get to their feet and give a standing ovation? What if you are not presenting to a large audience, and it’s just a group of twelve or less people? In this case you are trying to convince them on something. What tips do you need to know to help you conquer the stage?
1. To Make Perfect Presentations – Know your Topic Very Well:
As much as I would love to tell you how to behave and gesticulate on the stage in order to wow your audience, you cannot wow even a 10 year old if you’re talking gibberish. You must know the topic of your presentation and must have prepared for it quite well. Your research into the topic or situation must be in-depth enough to make you a living textbook concerning that topic and subject matter. Your confidence will be sky high when you can beat your chest about your versatility in the topic. Even if that topic is not directly in your field, you should do your homework well, meet the right people to put you through on relevant matters, and do enough research on your own to help your cause. Research! Research! Research! And oh.. Have a note pad where you’ve jotted basic points about the different angles relating to the topic. R and R. Read and Research!
2. To Make Perfect Presentations – Research Similar Topics
Yes. This is another big point. Just because you are studying chicken does not mean you should read and research only about chicken. If for example, you are trying to explain why chicken meat is very good and should be the one consumed in your community.. Or you are trying to convince your organization to invest in chicken meat. Now you’ve researched all about chicken meat and you’ve made a marvellous presentation about it. But then a question is thrown at you. ” Okay. Good points you’ve raised. But, if I may ask, why do you think that people should stop eating their red meat and jump to chicken? People have been eating red meat for many years and nothing has happened to them. Why do you think we will sell if we invest in chicken? What will make people drop red meat?”.
The person asking the question has heard your presentation and he/she is still asking this question. This shows that he/she does not want to hear more about why chicken is good… He/she wants to hear about red meat, and why chicken is better. Is red meat dangerous to the health? Why will people just change overnight and start consuming chicken? So you see.. To answer this question, you must have done your research on red meat too. You should do a research on government policies that might promote or discredit chicken consumption, alternatives to chicken, etc.
3. To Make Perfect Presentations – Be prepared!
Now the day has finally come for you to make your presentation. Do not stay awake all night reading, researching, cramming, etc. or whatever other thing you do. Get sufficient sleep and only wake up to practice for an hour or two. If there is still time, get some more sleep and only pick up your notes some minutes before you leave your house. Glance through it and have the points at your fingertips. Dont cram exact the words you used in your notes. Just keep the key words in your head. Trust that once you mention a key word, your brain will automatically dispense the other stories behind them.
4. To Make Perfect Presentations – Know your audience
Who are listening to you? Is it a presentation to just a few people or a large crowd? Is it to a group ofkids? Is it to teenagers? Are you presenting concerning a problem on ground or an opportunity in the air? These questions shape the kind of words you should use in a presentation. If you are to present to kids, you can make references to some cartoons once in a while, just to keep their concentration. You definitely do not want to start bringing up cartoons when you are presenting to the Board of Directors. No. Your vocabulary should be in line with your audience.
5. To Make Perfect Presentations – Use simple words
Trust me.. As much as people love playing Patrick Obahiagbon’s videos, a lot of people wont really feel comfortable if he was in their front, speaking all that grammar. Use words that people are familiar with. But be very intelligent with the usage, so that people don’t begin to get the wrong picture. For example, instead of using ‘lotion’, you could use the words ‘body cream’, if the audience are just the average people. Then after using ‘body cream’ about two or three times, use ‘lotion’ the fourth time. This tells them that you can use a variety of synonyms. Don’t go using words like shenanigans.. When you could just use ‘gimmicks’. Although, you can use such words as back up at the end.
6. To Make Perfect Presentations – Don’t under or over gesticulate.
You are not a droid that cannot be flexible with it’s body.. and you are definitely not a dancer. Don’t go swinging your hands like you were doing kungfu training on the stage.
7. To Make Perfect Presentations – Decide on what equipment would project your thoughts best.
Are you comfortable with just your words and gesticulations? Do you need slides to help you out? What about a short clip? Do you have some really cool software that can help out in the presentation? Use what ever you feel is best suited.
8. To Make Perfect Presentations – Dress well
Dress like you want to be addressed. That saying holds true here. What kind of presentation are you doing? Definitely you want to look good and usually, a formal look is good. However, if you are going to a Yoruba setting to persuade your audience, then you can wear a native Yoruba attire and there won’t be much qualms about that. Your setting could decide your dressing at times.
9. To Make Perfect Presentations – Be confident!
This is a major determinant of how the audience receives you. Stand fearless, even if you are shaking to your toes. It’s all an act. Irrespective of how seriously the matter affects you, remember it’s all an act, and you have a confident role to play. Be charismatic. Smile. Make one or two light jokes and drag the audience to your side.
10. To Make Perfect Presentations – Try to avoid reading the script!
Unless you’ve had very little time to prepare and you fear that you can’t really grasp all the complicated terminologies, please.. _try as much as possible to not bring a note along, or read along with the texts on your slide. The audience can do that as well, so what makes your presentation special? But it you know you cannot perform at your best without a little help, then please make sure you don’t make yourself a newscaster.
11. To Make Perfect Presentations – Pick up Momentum.
Don’t start by shouting your way through your listeners’ ears. Lol. No.. You do not want to do that. Start at a slow but steady pace, then when you’ve got the attention of the audience, pick up momentum and increase your voice ‘pitch’. Always end with fire… but start with water. You could twist it a bit, and just as you are about to end with fire, bring everything back down to water… and give a few subtle words of advice or encouragement. Then leave like a champion. Remember, the audience only how you ended.. not how you started. Make the best of it. Thank you.