When it comes to delivering a great presentation, it is easy to miss the mark. However, there are some quick tips that will help every presenter take their presentation to the next level. By implementing these 4 tips you will set yourself up to win and leave a lasting mark on your audience.
Practice, Practice, Practice.
This may seem like common sense but more often than not presenters overlook the importance of practice. In a recent article on forbes.com TJ walker is quoted saying “The real reason that you—and most people—fear public speaking is that you fear the unknown.” This is never truer than when we choose not to practice. Not taking the time to practice your presentation before delivering it creates all sorts of unknowns. Questions like is my content good? Will anyone want to listen to me? And what if I forget what I was going to say? race through our minds creating fear and anxiety that is difficult to overcome on presentation day. So, do yourself a favor and get rid of some of the unknowns by practicing.
Show up Early.
My high school coach used to always say “if you are early you are on time, if you are on time you are late, if you are late it is unacceptable.” This same adage rings true for any presentation. Don’t show up at the start time of the event or meeting and think that is good enough. Take the initiative and show up early, this allows you time to set up, get settled in, and relax before you start presenting. As a rule of thumb, I always plan to arrive at the venue 1 hour prior to the start time, I arrive in the room 30 minutes prior. This gives me ample time to account of unexpected traffic or delays all while still arriving early.
This is a tough one, because what exactly is “accordingly.” The Presentation Mentor team has put together a great podcast on this so be sure to check that out. But one tip I have when it comes to dressing accordingly is make sure you are “matching brands.” What I mean by that is that we all have our own brand or style that makes us who we are and embodies our personality. Sometimes that brand does not match the brand we are presenting to, in these circumstances we must make the effort to match our brand with the brand we are presenting in front of. If we are doing a big corporate event but we prefer jeans and a button down, it might be time to break out a suit jacket with our jeans and dress it up a bit. What I am not telling you to do is change everything about you to match your audience because that will feel fake and inauthentic. But I am saying to blend your style so that it fits your audience as best as possible.
Have a Clear Next Step.
People want to feel like they are being invited to be part of something. Whether you are selling cars or raising money there is an innate desire in all of us to be part of a greater cause. One fatal flaw I see presenters make time and time again is that they never invite people with a clear next step. They get to the end of their presentation and rather than making the pitch and closing the deal they shy away resulting in a missed opportunity and little participation. If you are going to take the time to create a great presentation, then don’t shy away when it comes time for the ask. People want to be invited into a next step and they are waiting for you to do it.
Whether you are preparing for a big keynote presentation or your next boardroom pitch these 4 tips remain the same. They translate across audience size, race, and social status because they are the skeleton to a great presentation. Take some time to figure out which of these 4 tips you are not implementing and focus on that for your next presentation, I promise you won’t be disappointed.
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