92 Tips For Effective Presentations

Know; How many

Know; how many people will be in attendance.

Identify the kind of

Identify the kind of work or profession attendance do.

Know attendance’s level of

Know attendance’s level of understanding about your subject.

You may need to

You may need to inform or persuade, or both.

Be confident with

Be confident with your material and delivery.

What are you going to tell

What are you going to tell attendance? — Identify 5-9 key points you want your audience to take away, know them by heart, and be prepared to repeat them throughout your talk

Consider the points

Consider the points your audience is likely to ask for further information about

Identify points

Identify points they want to hear

Pinpoint the details

Pinpoint the details they are likely to challenge

Be aware of any points

Be aware of any points that are likely to upset attendance

Carefully plan how will

Carefully plan how you will deal with all these scenarios

Make several “dry runs”

Make several “dry runs” before the actual presentation

Rehearse in front of a mirror

Rehearse in front of a mirror, with a tape recorder, and/or a video camera

Have a friend, family

Have a friend, family member, or co-worker listen and offer a critique

Time your

Time your presentation

Stop, go back, and repeat

Stop, go back, and repeat the segments you did not present the way you intended

Get plenty of rest

Get plenty of rest the night before your presentation

Don’t strain your voice

Don’t strain your voice the day(s) before your presentation

Don’t eat or drink

Don’t eat or drink right before you talk

Drink plenty of water in the 12 hours

Drink plenty of water in the 12 hours before your talk; avoid milk, thick juices, and other beverages that will make your mouth and throat sticky

Make sure you use

Make sure you use the restroom before your presentation

Check your appearance

Check your appearance – hair, clothing, etc. before entering the room

Make sure everyone can

Make sure everyone can hear you; ask people sitting in the back if they can hear you

If you speak too quietly

If you speak too quietly, it will be hard to hear; if you speak too loudly, it will be annoying

If you are comfortable

If you are comfortable, slightly lower the volume to draw people in, and then raise the volume to make key points

Think about making

Think about making your voice fill the room

Go slower where you want to

Go slower where you want to make an important point clear, but don’t go so slow that you lose your audience

Go faster where you think

Go faster where you think people will understand, but don’t rush through the material so quickly that the words can’t be understood

Use pauses to

Use pauses to punctuate the flow of your presentation

Strategically-placed pauses

Strategically-placed pauses can help you dramatize or clarify a point

Use pauses to give

Use pauses to give participants time to think about what you just said

Eye Contact

Use pauses combined with eye contact when you think you have lost your audience or when some audience members seem to be involved in a side conversation

Use pauses of no more than

Use pauses of no more than 10 seconds when you need to collect your own thoughts and think through what you will say next

Use inflection to

Use inflection to convey emotions

Don’t use a

Don’t use a monotone voice

Don’t over-inflect

Don’t over-inflect and make your voice shrill, squeaky, or sing-songy

Practice using inflection on

Practice using inflection on key words and points to add flair and enthusiasm

Listen to your inflection

Listen to your inflection on rehearsal audio or video tape to see how you sound

The tone

The tone for most oral presentations is relaxed but serious. This is especially the case when presenting to peers and colleagues

Presentations to your

Presentations to your managers, customers, competitors, and professional associations will be more serious and professional

Jokes, if told, must be

Jokes, if told, must be politically correct (that is, not capable of offending anyone) Ö and funny

Don’t tell a joke unless

Don’t tell a joke unless you know it well; there are fewer things worse than a botched joke

Listen for stammer words

Listen for stammer words that are fillers: “Y’know,” “Uhh,” “Like,” “So,” “Well”

Many people have other unique

Many people have other unique filler words that they noticeably over-use

Be conscious of fillers

Be conscious of fillers as you rehearse and eliminate attendance from your presentation

Count how many

Have a listener count how many times you use such words

Don’t stand directly in front

Don’t stand directly in front of your slides, charts, graphs, etc.

Stand to the side of the screen or board

Stand to the side of the screen or board and use your hand, pointer, or mouse to direct attention to important points, with the information to your writing-hand side

Direct all speech at your audience

Direct all speech at your audience; don’t talk into the screen or flip chart

Don’t hide behind a podium

Don’t hide behind a podium or table, or sit in such a way that some or all audience members cannot see and/or hear you

Posture

Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, with knees slightly bent when you are not moving about the room. This posture gives the appearance of being in control, relaxed, and confident

Practice

The posture should be comfortable and not awkward; practice ahead of time to get a feel for it

Be animated

Be animated as you present your material

Move around

Move around somewhat, even if you must remain in the area of the podium or projector

Don’t make

Don’t make erratic or unorthodox movements, like bouncing, rocking, pacing, or other distractions

Gesture naturally

Gesture naturally, not mechanically, with your hands

Do not use your hands

Do not use your hands excessively, unless it fits your personality

Be careful

Be careful not to make unnatural hand movements that could be interpreted as lewd or culturally offensive (e.g. To a Brazilian audience, the “O.K.” sign Americans make with their hands by forming an “O” with the thumb and index finger, with the remaining three fingers raised up, means the same thing as raising the middle finger in America)

Use facial expressions

Use facial expressions to show concern, enthusiasm, empathy, and understanding. Appropriate expressions will make you more believable to participants

Be genuine!

Be genuine! Check yourself in the mirror before experimenting with facial expressions

Smile

Smile as much as possible, naturally

Practice establishing eye contact

Practice establishing eye contact with your audience to make attendance feel included

Spend several seconds

Spend several seconds looking at one person before moving your visual focus to another person

Eye contact of longer than

Eye contact of longer than 3-5 seconds can make a participant uncomfortable

When the audience stops looking

When the audience stops looking at you, it can be the first sign that they’ve also stopped listening

Recognize and accept

Recognize and accept the signs of nervousness-they’ll diminish as you proceed through your presentation

Remember that a certain degree of

Remember that a certain degree of nervousness can be very positive in giving you the energy and drive you need for an enthusiastic presentation

Reduce nervousness by

Reduce nervousness by knowing your content and presentation ahead of time

Rehearse several times

Rehearse several times prior to presenting

Keep in mind

Keep in mind that the audience trusts that you are qualified to deliver this material

Remember that your

Remember that your peers and/or superiors consider you to be the best choice for the job

Familiarize yourself

Familiarize yourself in advance with the audience’s size, composition, and needs

Provide examples

Provide examples relevant to the group

Speak with a few people

Speak with a few people one-to-one before you begin to build familiarity

Breathe deeply and slowly

Breathe deeply and slowly before you begin in order to establish your composure

Pause frequently

Pause frequently to take a deep breath during your presentation

Direct your attention

Direct your attention toward a friendly face occasionally for reassurance

Move around slowly

Move around slowly to prevent “paralysis”

Be aware of the image

Be aware of the image you are projecting as the speaker-you never get a second chance to make a good first impression

Dress appropriately

Dress appropriately for the occasion and audience

Avoid distracting colors

Avoid distracting colors and patterns in your clothing

Project calmness

Project calmness and authority

The opening should capture

The opening should capture and hold the listeners’ attention

In the first minute, you should state

In the first minute, you should state the problem (need or opportunity) that is the focus of your discussion

Explain why is it important

Explain why is it important, who it affects, and how

Tell attendance what you

Tell attendance what you came to tell them

Be convincing, know your material, and

Be convincing, know your material, and present your logical points in a confident and organized way

Stress the main points of the content;

Stress the main points of the content; reiterate attendance throughout your presentation

Be objective

Be objective and air both positive and negative views where appropriate

Listeners should be able to

Listeners should be able to build their notes into a near replica of your presentation outline

Tie all your ideas together in a summary

Tie all your ideas together in a summary that clearly and neatly packages your message

When you end your presentation

When you end your presentation, the audience should leave with an unmistakable understanding of your message