Here are some helpful tips in becoming a better presenter.
Powerpoint - In any presentation you will want to have visuals in order to have your audience be more familiar with your content. This does not mean simply copying your speech onto slides with pictures. This can be distracting and take the audience away from what you are saying making for a weak presentation. The most effective ways at making your powerpoints meaningful is having a few pictures that help illustrate your point matched with bullet points on topics you can expand on with your speech. This provides the audience with an idea of what to pay attention to while keeping their attention on you, as the speaker.
- Videotape yourself - Practice makes perfect and it isn’t any different for presentations. Simply practicing your speech to peers or yourself in the mirror is half the battle of perfection your presentation. If you videotape yourself and are able to look back and point out parts you may stumble on or have trouble with, you’ll know specifically where to put more emphasis on for practicing and during your actual presentation. Additionally, this can help you see where you may want to provide more or less emphasis when an important point comes up that the audience needs to pay attention to.
- Make it your own - More times than not, you won’t have a copy of exactly what you want to say in front of you to look at. Writing out a notecard with key words or ideas that will assist you in keeping on track is what many professional presenters recommend. Alternatively, if you have a Powerpoint you can briefly look back and direct the audience's attention to your Powerpoint while you look at the points you have written as a reference. If you are not able to have any sort of ques while you are presenting, the best remedy for this is to simply practice your speech until you are comfortable enough to do it without any sort of outside help.
- Give yourself time - In the case that you are using technology of any sort, be there early to ensure it is working properly. The worst feeling can be when you are ready to present and you are unable to work the computer or projector. Be there early to have everything prepared and get yourself familiar with your surroundings. If possible it is recommended to practice where you will be presenting so you feel comfortable and ready even if there may not be any people in the area when you are practicing.
Written by: Nathan Kallen Nwkallen@gmail.com