Ability to put forward your ideas in an effective and efficient manner is a key skill which all working professions should have. No professional can think of progressing in their career without acquiring the ability to make a good presentation. let be sales review meet, a fresher candidate facing his first interview, a student giving out a project presentation, a public speaker putting out his thoughts or a teacher putting forward a new concept or theory all of them need good presentation skills to make the impact. Presentations can be defined as a well researched and planned short discussion of a particular topic delivered to a specific set of audience to ignite interest and curiosity or to deliver information or to share knowledge. The good presentation helps people to excel in their respective fields and to create an everlasting impression on people, effective presentation is a part of building your brand. Presentation depending on the objective of its presenter can have various purposes that are entertainment, educational, business and social.
In today’s competitive world all employers seek people who are effective communicators and foster leadership qualities, and good leaders make themselves heard. Hence, Presentation skills are the most sought after skills for a professional who is looking up for a bright future. Here at SevenMentors , we strive to provide you with the proper strategy and training to become a competent and impact presenter. Despite our shyness or stage fear, we can develop requisite presentation skill that will prepare us to present our ideas and views convincingly and confidently if we start planning and practicing for the same. We need to stick to a systematic approach while planning our presentation right from selecting an appropriate topic, identifying the topic, researching your audience and delivery and feedback.
Planning a Presentation
Planning a presentation is just like putting down a well-crafted message. It demands purpose, select audience, outlines the main topic and plans a duration or occasion. Only if you prepare better will you deliver your best. Here are the steps to plan a presentation:-
- Deciding the purpose of presentation. :- communication skills are goal-driven. There are various purposes for which you can do a presentation. your presentation cannot be effective unless you are clear about what you want to convey to your select audience It is the purpose that decides whether you want to educate or entertain your audience. A professional presentation aims to inform, update, persuade and inspire the audience . while looking for your purpose these are a few questions you should ask yourself.
- What is to be said?
- Do want to convey a message?
- Do you need to persuade them?
- Identifying and analyzing the audience:– A good presenter does thorough research to understand who and of what kind is his target audience. it is very important to tweak and customize your content according to your targeted audience group. You must be aware of the demographics of your audience – age, gender, occupation, religion, language, cultural lineage, etc. The type of content you would be choosing will depend on your audience; how familiar they are with the topic; and what they expect from the presentation. There are various audience related crucial variables that one must consider while presenting. These being – local issues, social and political moods, work culture, values and motivational level of the crowd. A skilled presented could easily analyze these issues to have a better understanding of his / her audience and prepare accordingly. Good grasp of values, beliefs, and attitude of the target population as it would help him to understand the expected reaction and interest of the audience.
- Occasion and time:- being aware of the occasion and time of presentation is important for planning an effective presentation. A smart presenter will like to chalk out the following while determining the occasion and time of his/ her presentation :
- Time and duration of the presentation
- Significance of the occasion
- Venu and arrangements of the presentation
- Strength of the audience
- The mood of the audience
Having a look into these issues addressed above in advance will give us enough to research our topic organize information, determine the optimal use of audio and visual aids and lastly deliver an impactful presentation. After assessment of the occasion and mood of our audience, we are expected to formulate appropriate strategies to put out our views convincingly to the audience.
- Finalizing the topic:- during planning for your session, it is pertinent that you develop a list of issues which may help you decide the topic beforehand and with clarity. It covers the main idea that you can generalize in a single statement as the purpose of your presentation to the audience.
Considering the following points and coming up with the right explanations gives you an upper hand over other presenters.
- The relevance of the topic to the people and place
- Is the topic interesting?
- What impact can the topic deliver?
- Availability of enough information on the topic
- Does add or leads to the purpose of this presentation?
Selection of a topic should commensurate with time available, audience demographics and place provided to conduct the presentation.
Preparing the presentation
Once the planning part is done with you are needed to start working on preparing the presentation. Good presentation conveys the purpose and gets the desired response from the audience. Preparing for a presentation involves researching the topic, outlining the content, Using if visual aids, and finally selecting the formats for presentation.
- Researching the topic :- Research a topic is a rigorous task as we have to approach the topic meticulously by putting forward relevant facts and convincing arguments in your effort to achieve presentation objective . for this we have to explore various facets of the topic so that the presentation encompasses all that is relevant and is meaningful . to start with, we can organize a brainstorming session and arrive at a rough understanding of what all interesting information we can gather about the topic. Then the work of search begins for relays ) as well as secondary sources ( library, online catalogs, reference work, social media network and authentic sources of information, statistical fact ,testimonial, pictures, views of experts etc. select both primary(personal observation , interviews, questionnaire-based survey social media networks , search engines , e-magazines , newspapers and journals ). Including the best possible information to make your presentation impressive, but never forget that we have a time limit for the presentation. Hence do not overload your presentation with information; only opt for crisp information that adds on to the value of the presentation
- Develop the topic:– research leads you to information related to the presentation topic. But it also brings up the challenge of organizing the desired information systematically for ease of understanding. if the organization is not done properly the presentation looks incoherent and the audience loses interest in it. the presentation can be divided into three parts while organizing the same which are as follows:-
- Introduction:- this part of your presentation brings you face to face with your audience. you present yourself and try to capture the attention of the audience while explaining the objective or topic of your presentation. After initial greetings to the audience, you should introduce the topic and its objective through an attention grabber i.e. a short anecdote, sharing personal experience, a current event of relevance, a provocative question, statistical or interesting facts, etc. something which will establish engagement with the audience. your introduction glues the audience into your presentation.
- Body:- the body of your presentation helps you establish the key issues with appropriate examples. it contains key points, specific observation, challenges and rewards, results and other useful supporting information . while delivering the body you focus on key points in a systematic way. take pauses to emphasize points . use transitional phrases to keep the flow going and steady.
- Ending: Here you deliver the crux of your presentation. You have taken your audience through the entire topic and are nearing completion. How you finish is also important as people usually remember what you say in the last. The closing should sum up the highlights of the presentation. don’t introduce new ideas just restate and thank the audience and invite questions.
- Using Visual A:- visual aids can improve the understanding of your ideas and add spice to your presentation. They would simplify the complex ideas and illustrate something dry in a more colorful manner. These are few aids you can use
- Objects and models
- Graphs, maps, pictures
- Interesting videos
- Animated images
- Computer-assisted slides
Do not add too much as it might look flashy also keep in mind the setting and the crowd being addressed and choose an aid according to the suitability of both.
- Organization Format: -I effective presentation are organized in patterns, some of the widely used patterns are as follows:-
- Simple to specific
- Specific to simple
- Cause / effect /problem/solution
Delivering the Presentation
As it is famously quoted that “ it is not what you have to say but how you say it, that makes all the difference “. Delivering your content with precision and confidence makes all the difference in the world. here are a few things to keep in mind while delivering your presentation:-
Coping with stage fright and Anxiety
Even seasoned speakers face bouts of fear while facing a new audience, it’s all about how you handle the fear.
- Keep a pleasant face, smile as much as you can your positivity will be reflected by the audience
- Visualize the audience and venue during rehearsal, act the part of approaching the podium
- Deep breathing is a real solace
- Practice, practice, and practice
- Be organized, keep your notes nearby and your visual handy.
- Avoid worrying about small mistakes, go on don’t break in between.
- Stand in a relaxed and balanced way.
Rehearsing Presentation Delivery;– Rehearsing is key .here are a number of tips for you to follow:-
- Rehearse your presentation thoroughly. Keep your outline, flashcards and slides printouts ready.
- Familiarise yourself with the visual aids to avoid last-minute confusion.
- Keep your language simple
- Speak steadily in a firm voice, project it with clarity.
- Check on your body language, rehearse in front of the mirror or your friends.
- Videotape your rehearsal to recognize your mistakes.
- Always adhere to plan, stick to your time limit do not waive from it.
Work on your delivery mode or method. it is critical to the success of your presentation, you can use these modes
- Speaking from notes
Giving the presentation
After all the planning and preparation, you are to give the presentation. The following suggestions may help you win your audience.
- Dress like a professional. It gives you confidence and makes your audience like you.
- Take time to settle down and ensure that everything is perfect, arrange your notes and go through your slides
- Greet your audience and deliver the first line from your memory, it energizes you and shows your mastery over the topic
- Avoid reading from the slides
- Do not be in a hurry to finish the talk. Speak with a moderate pace
- Show your energy and authority in your body language. A passionate speaker is admired by the audience
- Go for the final impression. Summaries your main points and complete your presentation with a punch.
“Great stories happen to those who can tell them “