Top Ways to Improve Your Presentations

  1. Decide on Your Goal of Your Presentation:
    • Be very clear on what is it that you wish to convey to your audiences.
    • Understand the audiences and react according to their requirements.
    • Keep in mind what they already know and what they should know and do.
  2. Give a Presentation Structure:
    • Decide on what kind of presentation structure you would like to have and then explain it to your audiences and move accordingly.
    • A structured presentation is easy to understand than an unorganized and randomly arranged presentation.
    • In a PowerPoint presentation, the slides should be arranged as per the presentation structure and most importantly the structure should follow a definite sequence.
  3. Consider Their Knowledge Level and Biases:
    • Every person attending your presentation can relate to your presentation only if you present before them, catering to their level of knowledge and respecting their biases.
    • Therefore it is very much essential to carry out a thorough study of your audiences and after understanding their level of pick-up present accordingly.
  4. Select Colours That Have High Contrasts:
    • A light background with dark contents or dark background with light contents is the best way to present your data in a PowerPoint presentation.
    • You could have excellent data but if you fail to present it well before the audiences, it hardly holds any value before them.
  5. Select Large Enough Font size:
    • A good presenter always takes care of the comforts of the audiences.
    • If you use small fonts for the text of your PowerPoint slides, you may find your audience struggling to read it and ultimately they even start ignoring the written matter.
    • So never use a font-size 24, use it in the range of 24-38. The heading or title of your slides could have font size 36-44
  6. Use Bullet Points:
    • If you present your content on the slides in bulleted form, you get your message easily conveyed as the audiences will find it much easier to relate to the bulleted pts than long paragraphs.
    • Thus each bullet point should be precise and highly informative
  7. Follow 6 x 6 Rule:
    • Try to follow the 6 x 6 rule in the PowerPoint slides where each slide should have not more than 6 points and each point should have not more than 6 words.
  8. Built Bullet Points Using Animation:
    • In a PowerPoint presentation, the edge that it has over OHP presentation is that you can animate your data in a PowerPoint presentation along with the varied graphics display.
    • If in a slide you want the bullets to appear one at a time, you could use animations for that purpose. Be very careful while using the animation effects on your slides.
    • Use appropriate effects to fit the theme of your presentation i.e. If your presentation is on some sensitive and soft issue you can’t be using exciting animation effects.
    • At the same tie don’t include too much of animations as it would lead to distraction of your audiences from the actual content of your presentation.
  9. Use Your Graphics Correctly:
    • Whenever you make use of graphics in your PowerPoint presentation, make sure that those are the appropriate ones.
    • Don’t get a wrong picture pasted against a wrong text. This will only lead to confusion among your audiences.
  10. Use Proper Charts and Tables:
    • If you have some numerical data to be compared amongst each other, then try to use appropriate charts ad diagrams.
    • If you have some data that could be represented in a comparative manner, then tabularize it.
  11. Practice Practice Practice:
    • Nervousness is a part of a presentation, but could be greatly reduced with lots of practice.
    • Keep practicing in exactly the same format in which you decide to give your presentation.
    • The more number of times you practice, you lessen the number of uncertain factors involved in a presentation.
  12. Feel Prepared:
    • It’s all in your mind. The people who feel they can win have already won half the battle so feel prepared and win over your audiences.
    • When you tune your mind to such a state, you drive away unnecessary nervousness which would have otherwise hampered your performance.
  13. Do not memorize:
    • When you are thorough with the topic of your presentation, you don’t need to memorize things about your presentation; you only need to put your thoughts before the audiences.
    • When you memorize contents of your presentation, you tend to generate a fear regarding forgetting the contents, thus you appear less confident, confused and artificial while presenting.
    • People may listen to you but may not seriously consider what you are saying.
  14. Good Presentation is a Good Conversation:
    • What is it that we do when we present on a particular topic, we are simply conveying our thoughts to the audiences and inducing them to add to it their own thoughts i.e. we are communicating with our audiences.
    • So if you require communicating effectively, establish a good conversation, which will ultimately lead to good communication.
  15. Focus On What You Are Talking About:
    • Don’t let yourself drift away from the main topic of your presentation.
    • Stick to your core topic and speak of points only relevant to the presentation.
    • Understand the knowledge level of your audience and give information only that the audience can understand.
  16. Do not overload your audience with information
    • In this age of information, all sorts of information on all possible topics are readily available and also very cheap to obtain.
    • Find out who is going to attend your presentation and thus calculate the information already known to the particular class of people.
    • Do not provide them with information that they already have.
    • Keep your presentation short and do not keep repeating the same point again and again. This may not create any impact in fact it may make your presentation sound very monotonous and boring.

Common Mistakes as a speaker/Presenter

1. Bad body language.

2. Speaking about irrelevant things.

3. Shivery voice due to nervousness.

4. Lack of interaction with the audience.

5. Appearing to be nervous on stage.

6. Lack of eye contact with the audiences.

7. Holding a steady position throughout the speech.

8. Speaking in a very dry manner on whatever subject you speak.

9. Displaying poor language skills.

10. Appearing forgetful on stage.

11. Getting easily distracted.

12. Carrying chits for aid.

13. Using big jargons.

14. Usage of repetitive sentences.

15. Failing to speak to time.

16. Providing irrelevant material to the audience.

17. Overloading the information.

18. Inappropriate pace of speaking.

19. Lack of enthusiasm.

20. No summarization of the speech/presentation.

21. Getting dry throat due to unnecessary nervousness.

22. Hiding behind the lectern.

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