In Depth

How to be a pro at presenting

Disha Kathuria
16th Mar 2017
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The corporate world is all about presenting - presenting your ideas, presenting reports, presenting forecasts, the list goes on. Author Geoffrey James, in an article for inc.com, highlights the difference between a good presentation and a great one. He says, ''Great presentations bring the audience members to the point where they make a buying decision; either a final decision (We want this product now!) or an interim one (Let's bring this idea to the CEO).''

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There's no evading it; competence in presentations is a must. Here are five things to make a lasting impression on your audience with your presentation.

Prepare

An invigorating article on timemanagementninja.com sheds light on how planning is incomplete without preparation: ''Few people plan their day. Fewer still take the time to prepare. You can plan all you want, but if you don’t prepare, you still won’t be ready.''

One way to know if you prepared enough for your presentation is to see if you have an audience that's all ears. But by that time, it’s a bit too late, isn’t it? If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. This is not a cliché. It is Newton's third law of motion. Some call it the law of cause and effect. Some call it Karma. No matter what you call it, when your presentation bombs, you're not going to like it. So, prepare before you present.

Have a clear objective

A presentation is like a ship leaving the port. It's got to have a destination. Some presentations become all about numbers and quotes, but completely miss the point when it comes to stating a clearly defined objective. If you're presenting an idea for approval from the higher-ups, it's rather important that they are aware of the fact that you're seeking their approval.

Do something quirky (without overdoing it)

Yes, there is MS PPT to help you with templates, slide designs, and more. But being a little imaginative would help you progress towards your set objectives. Depending on the nature of the subject or topic, you can think of creatively sprucing up your presentation.

Be confident

In his three steps to becoming a confident presenter, Kenny Solway, VP, Wildly Delicious Fine Foods, tells Linkedin.com, ''The idea is to shift the focus of importance away from yourself and onto your audience. They’re seeking to get value from YOUR insights and gain clarity and direction from YOUR presentation. That’s a great place to start. You are the expert, and you’re bringing value. You have the knowledge and information that will help your colleagues excel in their role, save their company money, and save themselves time.''

Confidence is like gas. If you've got it, they'll know. You cannot fake confidence. It does not have the same effect as the original. And original confidence is strictly reserved for those who've done their homework.

Keep it short

No one needs to remind you that time is money - especially in the corporate world. If you want your audience to be on your side at the end of your presentation, you cannot afford to wear them out with a boring, lengthy presentation.

The next time you're presenting, bear in mind the mentioned points to make your presentations stand out and present anything like a pro. Remember, there's no great without good. If you want to be a great presenter, you need to first be good with the basics.

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