Last week we were asked to deliver a presentation on search engine optimisation in Dunmow. Thankfully the presentation was a great success, but it reminded me of the time I used to spend preparing for Nevill Media presentations. What one of the attendants reminded me was that many business owners do not enjoy presenting and certainly not to a group of individuals that they do not know.
Don’t get me wrong, it would be a lie to say that some people never get feelings of anxiety when asked to present, but there is a difference between managing those flutters and letting them control you during a presentation.
In this article ‘a little bit off topic I know’ we want to share some valuable tips on how to present professionally and techniques on how to overcome your expectations.
We are not presentation experts, however we do believe that we have some valuable pointers that may help you when asked to present next. These are ‘what we believe’ to be key factors required for a successful presentation:
Get to the point
All business owners are busy people and when they listen to you speak, it’s highly likely that their minds will ‘at some point’ begin to wonder. Make clear, concise points. This will engage your audience and enable them to digest the information you’re giving them.
Aim to make eye contact with at least 1 person each time you make a point. Not only does this increase the intimacy of your presentation but it also subconsciously enforces that person to pay attention.
Keep it simple
Keep your presentation simple; you may not need to use a PowerPoint or flip chart within your presentation. Marketing expert Scott Campbell leaves all presentational tools and equipment at home when he presents. Once you have the confidence and experience presenting your presentation, there is certainly no longer a need for visual aided equipment. Not only will your audience be impressed by your approach, but they will also be more engaged.
PowerPoint’s are good if you wish to display web addresses or points that you want people to write down, but even if you use a PowerPoint, you should avoid reading directly from it. Use visual aids as a prompt tool only.
Make it easy to understand
Remember that when you present to a mixture of people, that you’re also presenting to a mixture of knowledge levels on this given subject. Tailor your presentation to meet the needs of all levels expected within your audience.
Speak with confidence – You know best
There is a reason why ‘you’ are the one presenting and the others in the room are ‘listening’. This is because you know best! You are the expert in the room. There will be no one in the room ‘unless they are in the same line of work as you’ that knows more about your business, your systems and your common challenges than you yourself. Knowing this and reflecting upon yourself logically will reduce the pressure that you most probably place on yourself when you present. By putting things into perspective, you will be able to speak publicly with confidence each and every time.
Vary your vocabulary
At all costs, avoid hmmms and ahhhs, these are caused through delivering long sentences and not knowing what you’re going to say next. For some this is just a bad habit, but for most, it’s down to poor preparation. Your listeners do not want to hear you hmmmming and ahhhhhring, keep your messages short and sweet, vary your vocabulary and keep people listening!