Top 10 tips for presentations

Presentations are the bread and butter of corporate communications. Yet they can be boring, can create panic in new presenters and fail to get the message across.

Here’s my top 10 tips for presentations:

1                     Presentations are about presentation and content. Great content can be ruined by a poor performance. But a great performance cannot make poor content any better. Too many presenters focus only on the content and forget the performance angle.

2                     Have a clear structure to your content: a beginning, a middle and an end. And make the end strong.

3                     You are presenting to an audience: make contact with them. Look them in the eyes: the presenter who refuses to look at people is aloof, at the least. And use words like “we” and “you” to connect with the audience.

4                     Be enthusiastic: so many presentations fail because the presenter does not seem to have any interest in what they are saying. This is often caused by nerves.

5                     Use a combination of pictures and text in your presentation: some people like text, others like pictures such as mind maps. Vary them in your presentation and use them alternately to get a point across.

6                     Consider an alternative to death by PowerPoint. Consider Prezi and other alternative presentation tools which will make a difference.

7                     Do your preparation: prepare your content but also prepare your timings and prepare yourself. A good breathing exercise before making a presentation will energise your brain.

8                     Include stories, anecdotes in your presentation: stories make a point and they personalise the presentation.

9                     Use the full range of your voice: don’t speak in a monotone. And do use gestures to make points: don’t grip the podium or have your hands down beside you all the time.

10                 Stand firm: many presenters go not stand upright. It may seem a small point but if you are not standing upright with your legs apart you are not breathing properly and lack of oxygen to the brain will hamper your performance.

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