Giving a presentation is not easy. For many, getting up in front of a live audience does not come natural. Fear and anxiety can feel a little crippling but if you take a little extra time and effort, you can practice some techniques that will make sure your next presentation is polished, professional, and engaging for your audience.
Check out this 4 minute (and 12 second) video in which I give you the rundown of how to keep folks from tuning you out during a presentation!
Reading in a place you can’t watch right now? No worries, I’ve got you covered.
Here are the four main techniques to follow to make your presentation GREAT!
Create killer content.
This is the most important part of your presentation (duh!). Start by really thinking about your audience. What is the skill level? Why are they coming to hear you speak? Make sure to tailor your presentation to the needs and wants of those who will be listening to you. Give them a reason to pay attention! (One fun way to engage your audience is by using software to poll in real time! Check out Sli.Do for one option!)
If you sound bored, you’ll be boring!
Remarkably, I’ve been to quite a few presentation that sound as if the speaker is bored while giving their presentation. (Maybe they are just nervous?) DON’T MAKE THAT MISTAKE! Humans take social cues immediately from those around us, and especially from someone that seems like an authority figure (like, uh, say a presenter…) so if you sound like you’re not engaged, the audience will quickly tune out too.
Make sure you are walking around, making eye contact with the audience, and sound excited to talk about the material. The more you smile and the warmer your tone of voice, the better you’ll make the audience FEEL about you and your presentation.
Quick comic relief! If you want to laugh about typical presentations, watch this video: Worst Presentation Ever.
Speak up! (Even if you have a microphone.)
A microphone does not mean that you can talk quietly. Be sure to stand up straight, and look for cues like people leaning forward or cupping their ears if people might not be able to hear. Speak up and pay attention to the physical behavior of your audience to tell if you’re being heard.
Timing is everything.
Slow things down, annunciate, and give people time to take notes or photos during your presentation. Even if you’re nervous, don’t let your mouth run a mile a minute.
Follow those four tips and your presentation will definitely keep your audience interested and engaged.
Did you find this post helpful? Do you have other tips? Do you have a juicy conference horror story you’d like to share?? Let me know in the comments! I respond to every comment so please share with me.