Are my slides good enough? Will the audience understand my talk? What, if something goes wrong? These and many more questions probably keep you awake the night before your presentation starts. You are unsure if you prepared everything sufficiently and you spend hours to consider which problems could occur during your presentation. We reveal 5 tips which make your next presentation awesome and help you to stay relaxed.
1. What is the goal of your presentation?
Before starting with the first slide, you should figure out what you like to reach with your talk. Do you want your audience to learn something new? Or do you simply want to entertain the listeners? Finding the right mix of information and entertainment for your talk will be crucial for the success of your speech. While in some situations (e.g. a presentation at school) it is advisable to mention fact by fact, other presentations (e.g. a presentation from a motivational coach) should be sketchier. More often than not, people tend to include too much content and forget to entertain the audience.
2. Creating an effective slide deck
As soon as you know the objective of your presentation you can start with the drafting of your slides. Do not try to get the maximum in your slide deck – less is often more. While it is very difficult to name an optimal number of slides, you should not talk less than 3 minutes or more than 15 minutes per slide. The format of your slide deck depends on the context of your situation. Presentations in creative industries normally contain less text, while consulting presentations often include much more data. In every case, you should go again through your presentation afterwards and try to delete everything that does not add any value from your slides.
3. Understand your topic and practice
Often it is said that practice is the most important part of a presentation. However, you can also over-practice. If you learn the sentences of your presentation by rote, you will probably sound like a machine. While you should definitely practice your presentation two or three times, it is most important to really understand the topic behind your slides. Rather than presenting the slides 20 times at home, you should get deeper into the topic and become an expert in the field of your presentation.
4. Tell a big story, and some small ones
The concept of “telling a story” is quite well known. But what does it actually mean? It means that you should not tell your audience the sentences of your slides, but rather form a whole story based on your presentation with a beginning, a main part and a conclusion. Besides this big story, you should also integrate the one or other small story to explain single slides. Make your presentation interesting and always think about the big picture.
5. Entertain your audience
Most people fear slip of the tongue or not knowing what to say next. But does it really matter? Not at all. If your presentation is interesting and if you are able to create a fascinating story, nobody will care if you make some little mistakes. Such mistakes can even be an advantage! These small issues make you human. Don’t get nervous, use them to your advantage and don’t let these little interruptions harm your awesome presentation.
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