We all know how color, text, images, and organization can make or break a PowerPoint presentation. With all this focus on the presentation itself, you can’t forget the most important aspect of giving a speech; you.
So, what should you be doing during the presentation? Read on as we list these five helpful presentation tips.
This is one of the most important aspects of public speaking. When addressing your audience, focus briefly on one member. Look them in the eyes, and then switch to another. Rotate around the room doing much the same. This attentive action while giving your speech will give you an air of confidence and leadership. People like other people who seem confident in themselves and it will make your speech more appealing. In addition, facing your audience will help them hear your words better than if you were talking in another direction, such as towards the PowerPoint board. The absolute worst thing you could be is ‘dead in the water,’ which is a term I coined while in many public speaking classes throughout high school and college. You would be amazed by how many people look at their hands or shoes and fidget while giving a presentation.
Pepper your speech with as many real life instances and stories as possible. By relaying info or making a point by telling it to your audience in the form of a story, it makes it more coherent. Your audience is more likely to understand your message as well as remember key points from the story long after your presentation. In addition, storytelling helps you connect with your audience. Perhaps say things such as, “I’m sure this has happened to some of you..” when relaying a common amusing situation. The nods and smiles of your audience will boost your confidence, showing you the room is listening.
Short and Sweet
Though stories are an excellent point to add to your presentations, avoid being drawn out or long winded. Start the buildup, add more information in the middle if necessary, and then end on point. This cuts out unnecessary bulk and amplifies the key points you are trying to make.
Buff, not Bulk
Remember, your PowerPoint is there to help illustrate and buff your presentation, not bulk it out for you. Don’t try to cram everything onto each slide. Slides should consist of important points, facts, or sayings only. This will help illustrate and define these points to your audience, as well as making them more memorable.
Think Outside the Box
In 2009, Bill Gates gave a speech on the topic of reducing the deaths of children in Africa. Malaria was one of his key points. He said “Malaria is spread by mosquitoes. I have a few here with me,” he said as he reached for a jar in front of him. “I’ll let them roam around, there’s no reason only poor people should be infected.” The audience sat in stunned silence, laughed, then applauded. They weren’t happy about the topic, of course, but rather the way in which Bill Gates so quickly and creatively nailed his key points. By stating your key points creatively it’ll have more of an effect on your audience and make the points memorable throughout your speech and after it.
By keeping these tips in mind, and with the help of a well-designed PowerPoint, your next presentation could be your best. Don’t let opportunities slip by because you were ill-prepared.