Being expected to both write and
give a presentation can be a frightening prospect, especially if you are
unaccustomed to public speaking. The following notes are designed to give you
guidance on the key points to bear in mind when presenting.
Firstly, it is essential that you
are absolutely clear as to the purpose of the presentation. What are you trying
communicate, why and what outcome do you expect from it. If possible, try to distil the whole essence
of the presentation into a single strapline. You can then use this strapline at
the beginning of your presentation to clearly communicate the objectives and
content of your presentation with your audience. Following on from this, try to ensure that your presentation
takes a simple and logical structure and again explain this structure to your
audience at the outset.
The next most important point to
bear in mind is who your audience are. In order to present effectively it is essential that your tailor your
presentation to be relevant to your audience. Be conscious of the language you
use and the level of information supplied. Try to ensure that the level of
information communicated is appropriate to the level of your audience, if you
fail to do this they will probably become bored and unreceptive.
When writing a presentation,
remember KISS keep it short and simple. Try to clearly communicate your
points and avoid using jargon unless it is essential and you are confident
that it will be relevant and understood by your audience.
Engage your audience by looking
at them and appearing to make eye contact. If this is a particularly difficult thing for you to do, try to find a
sympathetic looking face in the audience and focus on them, alternatively a
point on the far wall of the room will do. Dont look at the floor, or the ceiling and try to avoid fiddling with
your watch strap or the change in your pocket, for example, as this can be
extremely irritating and will make it clear that you are nervous and
Be conscious of the image you are
portraying, both in the way you dress, the way you present yourself and your
body language. Wear something you feel comfortable in and try to ensure that
your dress is appropriate for the situation. If you have the opportunity to do
so, try video taping yourself so that you can look objectively at how you
present. This will help you to pick up on any irritating mannerisms, and your
ability to engage your audience. One thing to be conscious of is the speed at
which you speak. Try to slow down. If you speak at your normal speed, you will
appear to be hurried and important points could potentially be lost. Especially
as it can be very tempting to speak quickly to get the whole ordeal over as quickly
In order to continue to engage
your audience for the full duration of your presentation, remember to include
relevant visual aids, such as pictures, graphs and charts. Also, try to include
some remarkable items, for example: a stunning picture; a surprising fact or a
Be succinct and try to keep your
presentation short and to the point, be conscious of the attention span of your
audience. If your presentation is longer than twenty minutes try to break it up
in some way, either by including an interactive session with your audience, or
changing presentation media.
Finally and potentially most
importantly of all, remember to present with passion!