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Tips On Giving Better Presentations

Tim Millett
Published by Tim Millett
08 October 2013

Giving presentations can be intimidating, even if you are well prepared. Many people do not enjoy standing in front of a group, using power point, or answering questions afterwards. If you have a job that requires giving frequent presentations, the following tips can help you perfect your techniques so audiences have a better understanding of what you’re trying to say.

TIP #1: CREATE INTERESTING VISUALS

Most corporate presentations will require you to use power point, which is a slide show presentation program you can run from your computer. Presentations are not only audio experiences, the visual images you create should give audiences clues in order to understand points you’re trying to make. When creating Powerpoint slides, or any other visuals like prepared flipcharts, you should:

• Include one point per page. Placing too much information on the page or slide will cause people to lose focus and have difficulty understanding what you are saying.

• Using the 7×7 rule (absolutely no more than 7 words per line, and 7 lines per page) can also help in keeping your message succinct and easy to absorb

• Add images, charts, graphs, and other visual aids to help people understand statistics, percentages, and other information.

• Choose one font for headings and one font for content. Be consistent with your font sizes. Make sure they are large enough for people to see from the back of the room.

• Time your presentation to see how long it will take for you to speak and change slides.

Give printouts of your presentation so everyone can follow along, take notes, or review the information later.

TIP #2: MONITOR YOUR TIME

When speaking to a crowd, most people tend to speak quickly. This can cause others to miss information, so be sure you slow down when this happens. Timing your presentation beforehand will give you a good idea of how fast or slow you need to speak. Practice a few days before and make any changes necessary then.

TIP #3: KNOW YOUR STUFF

The more you know about your topic, the easier it will be to answer questions afterward. Learn as much as possible. While you won’t use all of the information in your presentation, you will be able to answer most questions.

TIP #4: CRITIQUE YOUR PRESENTATION

If you are comfortable, ask a colleague to critique your performance so you can make adjustments for the next presentation. Many times you cannot see where improvements need to be made because you’re busy giving the presentation. Having feedback is a great way to learn more about your strengths and weaknesses.

Over time, your presentation skills will improve. When watching others give a presentation, watch how they handle themselves and try to learn from them.

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