I would like to follow-up an earlier post, The soft-side of presentations, with some additional tips.
- Get right to your topic using direct language. Don't use wishy-washy language. Avoid starting with something like, "I'm here to talk to you about...", "I would like to talk to you about...", "Today we're going to talk about..."
- If people are having side conversations during your presentation do not say anything to stop them. Instead, slowly walk towards them. When they notice your gradual approach they will stop. This is better than asking them if they have something to add to the conversation (which they probably won't.)
- If you notice that there are people attending that you did not expect, consider asking them before you start your presentation about their expectations. See if you can bridge and incorporate their expectations in with your material. If you can't do this then state what topics you will be covering and suggest a follow-up to address their needs.
- Use physical presentation aids (e.g., things people can hold and feel) where appropriate. This technique makes your presentation more memorable.
- When you are unsure of a question, use active listening techniques to rephrase it and confirm it with the questioner before providing an answer.
- If you are speaking to a large audience, you may want to repeat any questions so that everyone can hear them.
- Meet up with some of the audience members afterwards to elicit feedback and see where any miscommunications occurred. Learn from this.
Using the suggestions found on this and my other presentations posts, you'll be able to improve your presentation creation and delivery skills immensely.
Be prepared. Now go out there and break a leg! Don't be caught like this guy!
If you have any additional tips please send them to me. Thanks!