The art of presenting, to groups or individuals is essential in todays working world. There are now so many different ways to present too, from face to face and right they way across digital media. Delivering an effective presentation can be great, but can also go quite wrong. You are going to screw up your presentation if you don’t take care of the following 5 simple things:
No Eye contact:
One of the best things you can do when connecting with an audience, is to actually connect with the audience. You should not turn your back towards the audience, if you are facing them but just looking at the slides, your hands, your shoes or at the walls, then this will destroy your credibility. Making eye contact with the audience is the key to delivering a good presentation. If you don’t look at them, the audience will feel that the message you are giving is not concerning them. As a result, they will not be interested in what you are saying.
You deliver the whole presentation in a dull, inaudible and mellow tone; not involving the audience in any interactive queries. There is no humor involved or any surprising information. No one is interested in listening to a robot that is just reading, reading and reading in a constant tone. Add a bit of humor and some interactive sessions are always required to freshen up the audience and to keep them engaged. Get them to participate and they will want to listen to everything you have to say.
Forgetting the Slides:
One of the worst things you can do while presenting is to forget the material that you memorized. Good presenters are well prepared and well informed about their work, beforehand. They know what they have to say, they do not recite the stuff and do not pause to remember it. Even if you get confused at what you prepared, know that you have all of the information and you are ready to deliver it because you prepared.
Having Clumsy Lengthy Slides:
The themes and colours, font styles and sizes, spelling and grammar are some of the visual factors that greatly impact your presentation. You are going to screw up your presentation if you use unreadable contrast like light color on light or dark on dark , or making use of conflicting colours that hurt people’s eyes like red on blue or purple on green. Good presentations don’t have lengthy paragraphs in the slides. If you have all the script written in the slide and you are just reading word to word from it, then the people don’t need you; they can read themselves. Having important bulleted points in the slides gives a good impression and then you can elaborate those points. But stuffing the presentation with loads of bullets is not going to make people feel interested. Having more than 7 bullets in each slide is going to screw up your presentation.
Saying “Sorry” or apologizing at the beginning of your presentation is the worst thing you can do. Think about what it conveys to your audience. I’m sorry you have to listen to me… Why would anyone listen after that? It’s the same at the end, you want to leave them wanting more not ending with a whimper. Say Thanks, tell them how great it has been and expect some questions. Never appologise for what you are about to do, or have done. Remember you are the one person they have come here to listen to, make it count.