At Pareto, we understand that presenting to your colleagues can sometimes be a daunting task. For this week's blog, we wanted to create an article to help ease any initial anxieties you may feel - and make presenting an enjoyable task!
Here are our favourite tips to help you deliver a better presentation and stand out from the crowd.
The most important thing about a presentation, or any public speaking, is to connect with your audience. Your audience wants to feel your passion and enthusiasm. If you’re excited and motivated by something, the chances are your overall presence and feelings with rub off on them too. You need to connect with your audience in an honest and exciting way -don’t hold back. Be confident and show those people just how much you care!
Indeed, first impressions are considerably important. The first 2-3 minutes of your presentation must grab the audience’s attention. You could opt for short, snappy sentences to start strong and evoke a real interest in your topic of choice.
Smile and make eye contact
Easy, right? Wrong. So many presenters fail to do this simple task. A lot of people are so focused on getting their information out, they can end up firing out their presentation in half the time whilst either staring at the ground, off into the distance, or down at your notes. Making eye contact and smiling builds up a rapport with your audience, helping them to connect with you and your subject matter.
By connecting with your audience, you'll remember that it's only a room of people just like yourself, and the nerves will start to subside.
Nobody wants to sit in a presentation, watching someone read straight from the slides, desperately trying to get it over and done with. If you want to convince the crowd of what you're trying to sell, you'll need to inject a bit of passion into it: tell a few jokes, show them that you are interested in what you're talking about.
Telling stories is a great tool to keep your audience engaged and your presentation interesting. It can also help make your presentation more memorable. As well as telling stories in your presentation, you want your actual presentation to act as a story in its own right.
Use your voice effectively
As a broadcasting basic, you need to vary the speed at which you talk and emphasise a change in tone, pitch, and rhythm to capture the audience’s attention.
As well as holding the audience's attention with your voice, you need the correct body language. It’s estimated over three-quarters of communication is non-verbal, meaning your body language plays a crucial part in getting your message across.
Make sure you are giving the right messages, avoid hands in pockets, and crossed arms. Gestures should be open and confident, after all, you want to be inviting people to listen to you.
There’s nothing worse than not being prepared and not having enough time to do something. Don’t be that person fumbling around with PowerPoint while people are sat waiting. If you give yourself plenty of time and arrive early, you can get a feel for the room, run through your slideshow and fix any issues. If you are thoroughly prepared, you will inevitably feel more relaxed.
Practice makes perfect as we all know… if you practice your speaking skills regularly both in front of people and alone, it will only make you more confident. Even practicing in front of the mirror can be a good way to analyse your body language. Get your friends and family to be the audience, and get feedback!
Be professional and polite at all times
It is very important to remain professional throughout your presentation. When audience members give feedback, you should listen carefully and act appropriately. Even if the feedback is critical, you must thank them for their feedback.
A true professional remains cool and in control at all times. Be gracious with even the most challenging of audiences.
Now, you're ready to conquer the boardroom! At Pareto, candidate journey and progression are at the forefront of everything we do. If you want to see more of our insights head over to our resources section, we'd love to see you there!