Tips for effective presentations

News: April 2011

Tips for effective presentations

Making an effective presentation is an art in itself. Communication is more than just what you say, it is also about how you say it. Here are a few general tips for giving your next presentation the X-factor.

  • Eye Contact – Failure to make eye contact can make people doubt your sincerity. Try to scan the audience with your eyes but try not to focus directly on the same part of the audience for the entire presentation as this can make the rest of the room feel neglected.
  • Organise Your Thoughts – In order to communicate your message clearly, it must be properly organised in your mind before you deliver it. The best way to do this is to have a “dry run” at the presentation the night before. This means you will be familiar with the order in which you will make your points.
  • Notes and Slides – Ideally, you should rehearse your presentation to the point whereby you no longer require any notes – this suggests you know your topic extremely well and allows you to focus on the audience. Slides are there to support you. They should reinforce your message with a few short bullet points and some strong visuals that back up what you are saying.
  • Avoid Speaking in a Monotone – You will lose the attention of your audience if you speak in a monotone. Try to speak as though you are having a normal conversation. Emphasize important points and don’t be afraid to raise and lower the volume from time to time. At the very least it will be more entertaining for your audience.
  • Tell a Story – Don’t underestimate the value of a good story or two. Stories allow the audience to connect with you through common experiences. They are an effective way of passing on important values, concepts or illustrating a point. Stories can also create empathy between you and the audience, allowing you to hold their attention and convey your message more effectively.

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