Creating Successful Presentations: Tips for Your Business Presentations

Making a presentation can be difficult and nerve-wracking. Here are some tips on how to pull off a successful presentation.

Here are a few presentation tips to get you going in the right direction.

Introduction, Content and Summary – This is the Correct Order

Remember the three rules of “Tell Them”:

  • Tell them what you are going to tell them.
  • Tell it to them.
  • Tell them what you have told them.

This simply means your presentation should start with an introduction that outlines the goals of the presentation, followed by the core content, and end with summarizing the information or content provided.

Last is First

Research shows that people attending a presentation will not remember more than five key points from the entire presentation. Now, these key points would be what they consider important and may be different from those that you may consider important – and would like them to remember – keeping in mind the goals of the presentation.

Based on this, you must first list five of the most important key points, facts or concepts that you would like the attendees to remember from the presentation. You can do this by writing the summary or conclusion slide first, which should be carefully prepared by placing strong emphasis on the most important five points, and then build the rest of your presentation around this.

Keep Your Presentation Simple

Adhere to “KISS”, which stands for “Keep It Simple Stupid”. Simplicity is the key to successful presentations. The bottom line is that the more complicated the presentation, the more difficult it will be to get your ideas across, leaving your audience confused. So the presentation should focus on the message, and should not wander from the agenda.

Know Your Subject

To make an impact as a presenter, you must be thoroughly conversant with your presentation. For example, while making the presentation, it is important not to wander from the main message or refer to written notes too frequently. This may give your audience an impression that you are not prepared. Long pauses, in order to compose your thoughts, also have a negative effect. So, to present a professional image, it would be best to rehearse your presentation in advance.

Rehearse for Perfection

This does not mean merely going over what you intend presenting, but literally rehearsing the entire presentation. While rehearsing, you should try to use the same tools that you will be using in the actual presentation (i.e. if you are going to use a projector, slides, a remote mouse, a microphone or laser pointer, use the very same things while rehearsing). If you have access to the place where you are going to make your presentation, try rehearsing there. Do not try to memorize, as it is a presentation and not a recital that you are going to make.

Limit the Time for Each Slide

As a rule of thumb, the minimum time given to each slide should be ten seconds and never more than a hundred seconds. If you find that a slide is taking up more time, try breaking it up into more than one slide. Graphics and charts may require several minutes to be explained properly. So it is better to have multiple slides in this case.

Exercise Control

Control your audience while making your presentation. Face them and make eye contact. Keep them under observation and do not wander around the room aimlessly. Always be in front of the audience and command their attention as a presenter, moderator, communicator and leader.

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