Independent of the business field or context your working in, possessing adequate skills in order to give a comprehensive presentation is crucial and will be even more important in future. Therefore, one should continuously work on how to give a good presentation to the audience in order to assure the sustainability of the delivered messages. Having few important presentation tips in mind will easily help you to improve your presentation style.
Why Give a Good Presentation?
Average presentations are forgotten quickly.
Great presentations are remembered for years.
Terrible presentations are remembered forever!
At present time, audiences expect high-quality presentations. They expect the presenter to know the message, deliver it with some proficiency and clearly state its needs. Effectively presenting information to an audience will positively influence your professional reputation more than any other skill you possess (KNAPP 1999). It is of prime importance to continuously work on presentation skills in order to increase the quality of the information transfer and the interaction with the audience.
(Adapted from GALLIAN 2006; HENRIKSEN 2007; KNAPP 1999 and MOORE 2007)
Tip 1: Know the Audience and the Objective
The first step of every presentation is to define/know the target group and the objective. You can only develop an excellent presentation by knowing which stakeholders to address and which objective to achieve.
Tip 2: Start the Presentation in a Way to Catch the Audience’s Attention
The start of your presentation is of prime importance. In English-speaking countries it is common to begin with a joke, an anecdote or a statement to surprise or provoke in order to gain the audience's attention.
Tip 3: Make Specific Points
It is essential to think about the main points we want to convey to the audience with our presentation. If we have more than three main points, a verbal presentation is the wrong way to present them.
Tip 4: Keep the Presentation Short and Focused
A presentation always has to be a tight summary and should only include the most relevant messages. It is crucial to stick to the given time frame.
Tip 5: Make the Slides “Viewer-Friendly”
A good presentation is not overloaded with written text and should only contain catchwords. Do not write the whole message on the slides, otherwise you will loose the attention of the audience.
Tip 6: Tell your Story
As a presenter you tell a story. Therefore you should not read the slides. Slides are there to support but not telling the story for you.
Tip 7: Pronounce Correctly and Use your Full Voice
Incorrect pronunciation and unclear vocal expression is perhaps the first cause of a communication breakdown.
Tip 8: Practise
Practise the presentation with visuals and handouts before a live audience. Your team or support group can provide you with relevant feedback.
(Adapted from GALLIAN 2006 and STORZ 2002)
The following list is giving you some advice how to deal with difficult questions from the participants:
(Adapted from STORZ 2002)
The body language’s impact on the quality of a presentation is often underestimated.
Positive Body Language:
Negative Body Language:
Independent of the complexity, size or the context of a presentation, you should always be keen to present a topic by using your best skills. Whatever the presentations framework is, you always want to have the full attention, interest and participation of the audience. Furthermore, it is always required to convey your message to the audience in such a way they understand and will remember. Using adequate presentation skills will support the success of your presentation.
This articles aims to give an overview of the dimensions which have to be thought of and integrated for doing a good presentation (such as preparation, planning, structure, visuals, body language and voice etc.)
This paper contains a lot of advice (written in only one or two sentences) in regard to preparation and delivery of a presentation.
SUN MICROSYSTEMS (Editor) (2002): Open Gateways Curriculum for Teachers. Module 5: Slide show design and presentation tips. California: Sun Microsystems. URL [Accessed: 18.04.2010]. PDF
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