Successful presenters are either born gifted or extremely dedicated to the practice of presenting and public speaking. Or so I thought at least. Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King, this football player, my dad at my sister’s wedding… their confidence, style and wit amazed me.
But when I was asked to present to an entire auditorium full of people few years ago, I’ve discovered how wrong I was.
It is not simply a special skill that is only bestowed on a select few. We can all do it, and we can do it really well. The skills needed to become a compelling public speaker can be learned, practiced, and refined over time.
So how do you keep your audience engaged?
To do that, we need to look at the three main components of a presentation. They are core content development, slide design and outlining, and delivery of your presentation. Based on these components, here are some tips that you can use to jazz up your presentation, capture attention, and make people sit up and listen.[Tweet “Anatomy of a #presentation: 1-Content, 2-Design, 3-Delivery.”]
1. Develop powerful content
- Convey one message. Understanding the purpose of your presentation will get you started on the right foot. Your research and content should serve that objective.
- Reference your data. Put in extra research hours to find data and facts that support your purpose. This solidifies your points and makes your presentation more convincing. Don’t ignore this; back yourself with data sources!
Find out more about the laying the groundwork for a successful presentation here.
2. Designing a flow
- Don’t make your audience read. Keep your text to a minimum. Six lines are about four lines too many. Use easier-to-read fonts and size them appropriately (no less than 36-pt.). Choose images that will wow your audience while conveying the message on each slide. If you’re not sure if you have enough text, pop it into Grammarly, which will estimate the amount of time a specific amount of text will take to speak.
- Tell a story. Use your slides to build your message and create a compelling story, one that people will want to stay to hear the end. Stories help people relate to whatever you are telling them. Get inspired by this guideline.
- Think design. Ensure there’s a good contrast between text and background. You should not use more than five colors in your slides. I prefer two to three colors. Don’t animate – unless it is super smooth and fluid, it can be distracting.
Find out how you can easily make your data beautiful with Piktochart’s infographic templates for presentation.
3. Deliver with confidence.
The key to successful public speaking is knowing what you are going to say backwards, forwards, and sideways. If you were to lose your notes, it wouldn’t matter because you know your presentation by heart. To get to that point, you will need to do the following:
- Practice, practice and practice. Once you’ve got your deck ready, rehearse it aloud in front of the mirror as many times as you need. Get a group of friends together to practice your speech in order onto get honest feedback. Refine your technique and create your own style. Make it truly yours. Did you know that standing confidently actually boost confidence? Familiarize yourself with the stage to shed the jitters. And most of all, remember that even the best speakers get stage fright. It’s a sign that you are devoted to excellence.
- Review your performance for future improvements. If possible, record (or get someone to record) your presentation. While it might be painful to watch, even if you made it through stunningly, look for things like fidgeting or saying “Um” or “OK” too often.
Get these tips in this presentation infographic: https://magic.piktochart.com/output/2847477-dont-put-your-audience-to-sleep
You can also check out other samples of presentations that have been created using Piktochart like this one: Getting Niche Users
Hint: Click on the PRESENTATION MODE button at the top right corner of the Piktochart.