In some ways, creating a brilliant document is easier than pulling off a brilliant presentation. With a document, you can spend hours or days revising, editing, and proofreading . With a presentation, no matter how much practice you put in, you still have one chance to get it right.
But as with most things, practice makes perfect, and knowing the rules of an effective presentation can help. Keep these seven presentation tips in mind the next time you have a captive audience:
- Know your listeners. Just as in writing, if you can connect to your audience's desires and previous knowledge, you can foster engagement. Understand what they hope to learn from the presentation.
- Get to the point. Brevity is the soul of wit, as is memorability. To the extent possible, hit the highlights and don't belabor the material.
- Make it relevant. Tie the topic of the presentation to real issues your listeners face, and, when appropriate, use narrative and anecdotes to make the material memorable. People remember stories better than they remember facts, and a week later, you want people to still remember your presentation.
- Pay attention to the flow. Move your presentation logically from point to point so you're building and reinforcing a coherent argument.
- Use visual aids, but use them sparingly. Illustrate your points, but don't force the audience to split their attention between listening to you and reading a slide.
- Practice your presentation and record yourself when you do. Review your speaking time, listen to your pacing and inflection, and pay attention to your body language. Aim to speak clearly and at a measured pace, and keep your body language open, friendly, and confident.
- Solicit feedback! Whether it's from a speaking coach, a friend, or a past audience member, learn how you can improve your performance.
If you'd like more presentation tips or courses, or if you're interesting in refining your communication skills, contact us at Hurley Write, Inc.
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