Are you preparing for a big presentation? Are you intimidated by the thought of speaking in front of a large crowd? Relax, it’s not as bad as you think. The key to effective public speaking is in being well prepared in advance of the event. There are techniques and tools that you can use to increase your impact as a public speaker and presenter. Here are some top tips to get you ready for your big day.
Use Tools to build Fantastic Presentations
There is a multitude of software tools available to help you design an outstanding presentation. Everything from slide-builders, to tutorials on how to edit pdf on Chromebook laptops. Anything you need is just a Google search away.
Effective Presentation Structure
Business presentations need to be structured correctly to achieve the maximum impact on the audience. When you are creating your slides, remember the 10-20-30 rule. This rule suggests that for every twenty-minute presentation, you should include ten slides that consist of images and text. The text of the font you use should be no less than 30 to make it legible for your audience at all times. There is a variation to this rule called the 20-20-30, which essentially means that you could use up to 20 slides per 20-minute presentation.
However, the less you use, the better. More slides mean more information and you run the risk of losing your audience with too much information for them to absorb in one session. If you do find that your presentation is too long and includes too much vital information, consider putting together a booklet of the secondary points for interested parties to look through after the presentation.
How to Keep the Audience’s Attention
The best way to keep your audience’s attention right from the start is to open with a light-hearted or quirky statement. Make it something relevant to the presentation, or the current business climate in the country. This opening strategy will get your audience on the same page and open to your suggestions in your presentation.
Try to avoid talking with too many gestures and only use your hands when you need to draw emphasis to the words you are speaking. Remember to dress well; your audience make their impression of you in the first three seconds that they hear you speak, so make it count.
As you deliver your presentation, make eye contact with different people around the room. Never hold your gaze on someone for more than a couple of seconds and walk across the stage slowly from left to right as you deliver your speech. Make sure that you speak slowly and clearly so that everyone can understand what you are saying. Remember to be entertaining; no-one enjoys listening to a dry, droning tone from the speaker, so keep your audience’s attention through the use of clever tonality in your speech. Emphasize the important points and nail home the takeaway messages by using facial expressions to enhance your points.
The more preparation you do, the better your presentation will be. Practice your presentation on your family or friends before you step into the boardroom. Take their feedback and alter your presentation until you are confident in delivering it.