How to Give a Presentation

It’s very likely that during your career you have already needed to give a presentation at some point, in front of a smaller or larger audience. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you prepared to bore everyone to death with the weapon of mass destruction called PowerPoint.

presentation

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Before committing to such task, one needs to ask himself/herself some questions:

Why do you need to give the presentation?

What is your core audience?

What would you tell them?

What do you wish to leave them with after the presentation?

How much time do you need in order to design the actual document?

How much time do you need to practice your speech?

And then you can start the work. Well, first you start with a break; you are no fool to get this done one month before the actual DEADline, don’t you? I have tried all the possible approaches: from doing it on the day/night before, to planning the presentation weeks before its due date. For me, however, there is a clear differentiator for every presentation.

The fact that I generally deliver my presentations in Prezi usually takes a whole lot more of my time than a rather ordinary PowerPoint one. There are some exceptions of course when I do use the PowerPoint – for instance when presenting the holiday options to the decision maker at home, to my wife respectively.

The presentation should have introduction, content and conclusions.

The sooner you start working on it, the better it gets. The reason behind this is that you get a lot of ideas along the way and you have also more to cut from. Yes, there will be things which will be deleted, as not everything that was included at the beginning will hold its value.

Take some time to gather all the necessary data; if some information depends on others, push to get it in time. This phase also includes the research, so you already know how others treated the same subject – your presentation might need some fine tuning.

Practice many times on how to deliver the presentation. As many times as possible. For me it never worked using a written speech because of many reasons: you can’t see your audience falling asleep; you cannot pay attention to what you read as you mechanically think of the next phrase and the result is negative.

When you think that everything is fine and presentation perfection was achieved, ask someone unrelated to the subject to listen and tweak the language if necessary. For this, you need a person objective enough to provide an honest feedback; don’t ask for help from the ass-kissing colleague that always states your presentation was the most supercalifragilistic he/she ever witnessed in their entire life. And of course they feel the same every time.

Perform some tests in the conference room, as well as on the devices, lighting, sound and… most important, make sure you have a back-up to your back-up.

And seriously, I hope you didn’t think I get to give a presentation for choosing the holiday to my wife; I simply give my approval for the something the family committee (held in my absence) already voted.

Remember that whatever you are presenting, getting praised or booed – the biggest impact of this will be on your personal brand. If you master the skill of presentations, you would probably be fine; it doesn’t  matter if is about global warming or skydiving skills.

Good luck succeeding!

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