Effective Presentations

You have a presentation coming up; you want to wow your audience! And you can. Read the following tips, drawn from 20+ years of presenting in the classroom, presenting workshops, and presenting to prospective employers. Contact me if you’d like to explore this further!

Refine Your Main Topic(s)

If you don’t know your main topic or topics, your audience won’t either. Come to terms with what you’ll be speaking about. Introduce it, or introduce more than one topic, clearly. Stick to the plan.

Know Your Audience

Obviously, a key. How much do you know about your audience(s)? If it’s strictly demographic information, is it enough? Have you tried to find out more; to discover some psychographic information about them? You should. You need to tailor your messages and speak to your audience.

Organize Your Material

You would be surprised how many presentations go ‘sideways’ because a presenter, even having her ducks lined up in a row, didn’t organize her material. Make things easy for your audience.

Beginning, Middle, and End

Start strong, end strong. Also, try to have half a dozen main and important talking points throughout the presentation that the audience will remember. Attention span and retention are limited in any presentation.

Did They Understand?

Unless you ask, or are super-observant, you will not know … until it’s over and too late. I have a good friend — he’s an inspiration, really — and here’s something he does all the time. You’ll ask him a question. He’ll answer thoroughly. After he answers, he’ll ask you if he answered your question. A good practice I’d say.

There are many other pointers about delivering an effective (and remembered) presentation. For example, the slide 7 x 7 rule. And the use of humour. And the need to check out the venue. I hope for now you have a good basis to begin from.

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