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How To Deliver a Knockout Presentation

15 May 2014

I'm not a presenting pro, but after attending various seminars recently, I've been considering the principles of a good presentation.

A good presenter leaves with their audience feeling enlightened, inspired and motivated. A bad presenter will turn their audience's attention towards the exit.

The majority of people hate presenting, filling them with dread and fear. They may rush to get it out of the way or lose focus of the message in order to get it done. A nervous presenter is likely to rush and speak for the sake of speaking which has no impact at all.

Slow down. The trick of being a good presenter isn't to speed up, it's about delivering something that's going to deliver an outcome – be it to land a new job, work with a new client or impart wisdom on your audience. If you want to succeed at presenting, you're going to need to practice.

The subject of a presentation is determined by the context and subject of what you a presenting. The aim of this article is to share my thoughts on how you can make your presentations more interesting, engaging and memorable.

Presentation Skills

Whether you're presenting for a job interview, pitch or at a seminar, the following should help you become a presenting champion.

Today's hashtag is…

On social media? Promote it!

However if you leave telling people about your Twitter profile to the end of the presentation, then you're missing out on your audience promoting you during your talk.

When you're delivering a knock out presentation, there's nothing better than a room full of people tweeting about how great it is. Make sure you tell them what your handle is at the beginning of your presentation and include a specific hashtag if you're using one for an event.

Death by PowerPoint

If your slides are full of text, your audience is not listening to you. They're reading the slide and completely ignoring your presence.

"Less is more" – what does this mean? Well it means is turning this:

  Verbose presentation into this Simple Slides

You don't need a designer or clever tricks. Start off by moving the bulk of the text you have on your slides into your presentation notes.

The slides are a visual guide. Keep them simple.

Think about emotions

I considered calling this section "be personable" but that's a buzzword that gets thrown around pretty liberally.  Is your presenting style hooking into the audience's emotions?

Unless you're presenting to a room full of robots, you're going to need to appeal to people's emotions. Hold off on the sales pitch and empathise with your audience, what do they want to hear you say? What are their problems? Relate to them.

If you build a rapport with your audience, then your presentation will leave a lasting positive impact.

Add punch to the dull stuff

Not all presentations are fun. Actually, most of them are relaying a very important message.

If you are going to take anything away from this article, please make it this: be aware of dry or "boring" content, and consider how to make the information much easier to absorb.

Include a statistic, metric or one liner to keep your audience's attention. By keeping the information short, sharp and succinct it will make the dull stuff much more interesting.

Pause. Observe. Continue.

If your presentation is too salesy, then your audience will be bored. Who is the presentation for – you, or the people sitting in front of you?

If you feel positive and relaxed after the presentation, then you're likely to have just delivered a knockout presentation. If you're exasperated and glad it's over, then you're audience will probably feel the same!

What are your presentation tips? Share them in the comments below.​

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