6 Steps to a Killer Presentation

Whether it’s a meeting for a job, a conference, or even a workshop, people with social anxiety have a hard time speaking in front of others. Besides, symptoms like blushing, shaking or stuttering can easily disrupt your presentation. 

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A great speech is all about careful planning, creating a connection with your audience and, of course, attitude. Here are the 6 steps you need to take in order to deliver a killer presentation.

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1. Plan Your Presentation

Planning is a stage that covers a significant portion of the entire process. Without proper planning, your presentation is doomed before it even starts.

Whether it’s a small work-related presentation or a conference, begin by writing down some basic ideas about the main topics. You can even write down the entire presentation, if you don’t feel confident enough to improvise ‘on the spot’.  Don’t forget to add an introduction and a conclusion to your presentation. The introduction should cover the basic ideas and the purpose, while the conclusion is a recap of the entire presentation. Last but not least, use slides, info graphs, pie charts and other presentation tools, in order to deliver information in a more condensed and efficient way.

Besides planning the actual presentation, you should also make sure other details are up to code, such as the technical equipment.  

2. Practice in Front of the Mirror

Before delivering the actual presentation, you can always rehearse your speech in front of the mirror. This way, you can experiment with different postures or styles, and you also gain more confidence. The mirror becomes an excellent feedback provider that will allow you to make small adjustments to your presentation.

When practicing in front of the mirror, it’s crucial that you create a somewhat authentic atmosphere. So, dress and behave as if you were in front of a real audience.   

Alternatively, you can practice in front of a colleague, friend, or family member. 

3. Analyze Your Audience

Before starting your presentation, take a quick look at the audience. If they seem bored, open the presentation with a joke. If they’re noisy, let them know that you’re about to start.

Sometimes, you can get to know you audience even before attending the presentation. Ask yourself these questions: What kind of people will attend my presentation?  Are they familiar with the topic? Do I know them on a personal level? Will it be hard to get their attention? What do they expect from me?

Knowing your audience allows you to adapt the presentation according to their needs.

4. Adjust Your Posture

In one of our previous articles, we’ve discussed the importance of body language. People send messages both orally and through gestures, tone of voice, posture and other nonverbal elements.

When speaking in front of an audience, try to adopt an open posture. This means keeping your arms uncrossed, leaning forward, making eye contact and standing up. You may not realize this, but nonverbal communication is sometimes ‘louder’ than verbal communication.

You can even get people involved in your presentation by asking questions, requesting feedback and even organizing practical exercises that are related to the topic of your presentation.   

Last but not least, NEVER stand seated during a speech. People may perceive you as arrogant, condescending or simply rude.  

5. Establish a Clear Purpose

Without a clear purpose, your presentation is just a bunch of random facts. A clear purpose makes your presentation memorable. You have to give the audience something they will remember even after a couple of months. Something they will share with other people or maybe implement in their own lives.

The purpose of your presentation should be included in the introduction. This way, you’ll get their attention right from the start. Also, you can recap the purpose during the conclusion of your speech.

All and all, make sure you constantly remind the audience that the presentation is worth listening to. 

6. Leave Time for Questions and Comments

Besides encouraging your audience to ask questions during the presentation, you should also leave time for final comments and questions. This final part is just as important as the rest because it settles any confusions or debates.

If time is short, you can always leave an e-mail address where people can send their questions and comments. Just make sure to respond as quick as you can!   

Full reference: 

(Dec 4, 2015). 6 Steps to a Killer Presentation. Retrieved May 24, 2024 from Explorable.com: https://explorable.com/e/6-steps-to-a-killer-presentation

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