Make sure you follow these tips to make sure that everything goes as well as you want it to.
- Check all equipment – in advance. Whenever you plan to use any electronic equipment make sure it works in the venue well in advance.
- Speak to your audience. Keep your focus on them, not the next slide or your notes. When you focus on them they are encouraged to focus on you.
- Never read the slides. The audience can read too, and you reading what is on a slide is very insulting to them, let alone being deadly boring for them to have to listen to.
- Avoid jargon. Using industry buzz words makes you sound pompous and will alienate anyone who does not understand them. Keep them off your slides and out of your words.
- No humour. Leave tell jokes to comedians, unless you are very good at it. This is a business presentation and in these circumstances humour is not appropriate.
- Use relevant visuals. Don’t put slides in just for their own sake they will distract your audience from focusing on you. Never skip back and forth within the deck of visuals, this makes you look wholly unprofessional.
- Keep to time. Make sure the audience knows how long you will take and then take slightly less time. If it’s a long presentation, or one with several presenters each one should say how long their section will take.
- Non-verbal communication. This is a critical and often over-looked area so be aware of your body language. the simplest way to do this is to be filmed during rehearsals so you can see how you stand, your tone, pitch and the volume of your voice etc.
- Prepare for the Q&A. Make sure you (and your team) have pre-planned answers for the questions which you anticipate getting. If it’s an open forum take 2-3 questions with you and explain that you were sent these in advance.
- Handouts. If there is data that you want the audience to have provide it in a separate document and distribute these after the presentation. Any slides should not on their own provide enough detail on their own for the audience as a résumé of the presentation.
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