In the corporate world, people are used to attending presentations. Presentations are to convey a message, persuade or take a point forward.
Today, PowerPoint is the industry standard for presenting slides across the board and people who are not familiar with this tool are at disadvantage.
However, I often find many speakers with great presentations, missing a small detail, that it is just an aid for the audience to grasp the message the speaker wants to convey. Don’t have too many words on the slides, instead try to speak about it in a free manner.
Listening requires effort and powerpoints are guidelines where to focus your attention and help the viewer to follow through. Not to have pages of slides filled with information only meant for the speaker. Additional information can be distributed in a brief for those interested and be directed to the website or blog.
Of course presentations can be nerve-racking for some, but like everything it requires good planning and preparation – that means not to simply reading off the slides. It bores the audience and totally misses the point of having one in the first place.
Attention is what you want – not boredom.
A few pointers in making a successful presentation:
- Plan ahead. How long time is dedicated? The usual attention span we have as humans is about 20 minutes, if the presentation is longer, try having a 3-5 minute break.
- Know your audience – what kind of people are attending.
- Only list Key Points and speak freely around them.
- Be ahead of time, and make sure equipment works.
- Don’t forget to breathe and make enough pauses. Speaking at three words per seconds is usually a good benchmark.
- Present effortlessly.