5 Tips to Make Yourself a Better Presenter

September 7th, 2012 - Category - IT Best Practices

Speaking to a crowd, especially one comprised of your peers or potential clients, is a nerve wracking experience. All too often, a speaker will put all his/her effort into a PowerPoint with graphics worthy of James Cameron or distracting animations that spin, sparkle, and pop. As the speaker, you’re the focus. Here’s a few tips to keep your audience captivated:

Your PowerPoint is Just a Guideline

When speaking in public there is always the temptation to plan a script. One of the biggest mistakes that a speaker can make is worrying about following the script, when they should focus on being engaging and informative. If you know your material and know your major talking points, then just let the visuals be secondary.

Location, Location, Location.

Consider the venue that you’re giving your presentation. Even when you’re speaking somewhere for the first time, try to get an idea of the room layout. This should affect how you prepare for the speech by adjusting your volume, projection, and eye contact to fit the type of room. In some cases, you may even want to tweak your presentation to suit the audience size.

Practice Makes Perfect

Once you’re comfortable with the material you’ve outlined, it’s time to bring your game to a friendly audience that will offer constructive criticism. Speaking in front of your peers will help you transition from talking to yourself to talking to an audience. It’ll help you figure out which lines work and which don’t and will help you retain the audience’s attention.

Only YOU Can Make a Presentation Interesting

It’s nice to have a PowerPoint with graphics to help convey your point, but you need to be the focus. In fact, when preparing a presentation, consider the chance that the projector will blow a bulb and you’ll have to fly solo. If you know your topic that well, and you can address all the points to convey everything you intended to without the PowerPoint, then you’ll capture the room’s attention.

Q&A: Save Time for Questions

After you finish your presentation, open the room up for questions and interaction. Obviously, don’t give a presentation on a topic you don’t know much about – audience members like to come up with challenging questions. If you don’t know an answer, it’s best to say “That’s a great question, meet me after the presentation and give me your email address, I need to run that by my team.” Then, of course, be sure to follow up.

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About Mit Patel

Mit - Managing Director. In 2002, Mit founded Netstar. He has helped grow Netstar to become an indispensable partner to some of London’s finest businesses, including well known names in the Financial Services industry. Mit works across all aspects of the business including strategic planning and key account management. Mit is focused on ensuring the delivery of a high quality service, and providing strategic value to help our customers overcome their business challenges.