1. Know that less is more
We’re constantly being bombarded with information at every turn, so it pays to keep things brief.
2. Keep it relevant
Keep the mood fresh and engaging, invite questions and audience participation, and if you have a longer presentation, incorporate an activity or exercise that gets people involved while driving home a key point.
3. Be enthusiastic
Likeable people keep us interested and engaged and enthusiasm is contagious.
4. Know when to hold ‘em
It is positively baffling how many speakers and presenters don’t know how to simply and effectively use PowerPoint. Used properly, these tools can enhance a presentation, drive home key points and
keep the focus where it belongs; on the speaker. Anything else becomes a distraction that leads to boredom.
5. Meat and potatoes
Be sure to structure your presentation so that it has plenty of Meat (subject matter, new information, useful tips) as well as potatoes ( supporting explanations, demonstrations, hands-on experience designed to reinforce the key points.
6. To thine own self be true
Be authentically you and you will win your audience over every time – even if the “real you” isn’t witty, funny or outgoing. Additionally, when you are being yourself, you will find that presenting becomes easier and more natural, since trying to be anything else can only serve to increase your nervousness.
7. Effective use of humour
Humour should enhance your talk and engage your audience. You don’t have to be the next comedian.
Take some deep breaths during your presentation – this will help keep your head clear and ensure that you maintain true focus.