Presentations are a vital part of any business. It is a necessary way to communicate your ideas to a large group of individuals. However, how well your ideas are communicated depends entirely on you. Human beings don’t have the best attention spans, and it takes a fair amount of effort to get people’s attention. This makes delivering a presentation an art form of sorts. How do you grab the attention of your audience and then sustain it throughout your presentation? In this article, we give you a few pointers to achieve this.
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Standard templates by PowerPoint are dull and boring. If you want to gain the attention of your audience, get a bit creative. Instead of a traditional PowerPoint presentation, you could design your slides on Prezi, which offers more offbeat visuals. These can immediately get your audience’s attention.
Your presentation is a board to put out your ideas, the rest is what you do with the presentation and how quickly can you captivate your audience into believing your idea. The best way to connect with your audience is to let out your passion for the subject become theirs. Your body language, words and a confident yet excited tone convey this.
In addition to the above, we are all programmed to remember stories. That’s pretty much how we remember our childhood fables or a movie plot. Stories help us pay attention, and if you use stories in your presentation, your audience is more likely to engage with you and remember key details later on. So make sure you pitch and your presentation has the fluid flow as well.
This is probably the most essential part of any presentation. Your audience will judge your movement, expressions and body language. These may not be able to help your audience retain information like visuals can. But you can always make things interesting by varying the speed with which you talk and making your voice interesting with the audience.
Make your body language open and confident, move around during your presentation and look at the audience while you talk. In case you are a person who is uncomfortable looking at people while talking, choose a comfortable bling spot on the wall before you, simply focus there while you give your best.
A standard rule for presentation has been given by Guy Kawasaki of Apple: Your presentation should not have more than 10 slides, should not last for more than 20 minutes and should have a font size of not less than 30 points. Your presentation exists just to guide you. A good set of slides contains less, rather than more, information, expressed simply.
Focus on what your audience needs to know rather than what you wish to tell them. While you give your presentation, always try to understand how your audience is reacting to it and improvise accordingly.
Ask yourself, what is the key message for your audience? You should be able to communicate the message briefly. Your introduction prior to the presentation should be like a 30-second elevator pitch, it should be a gist of your agenda for the day.
Practising your presentation a few times and using these tips during the same can help you a great deal when you make your final presentation. Getting all of the above right can take some time, but with enough practice, you should be able to deliver a great presentation.