No one can deny that presentations are extremely important in the corporate world. Today, having a great idea or creating an amazing product is not enough—you need to know how to sell it if you want to be acknowledged as a leader. Walkerstone recently put together this infographic that covers everything you need to do to give a truly effective presentation. Use this as your final checklist before your next presentation and watch the compliments flow.
Always remember that it does not matter whether you are going to present to three people or 100. You need to know who your audience is and what they are looking for. You should be able to engage their interest and stimulate their minds with your first few words.
Also, do as many practices run as possible before D-Day. Get a friend to listen to you or record yourself speaking and play it back to see where you need to improve. If you find yourself saying too many “umms” or “uhhs”, try pausing and thinking in your head instead.
Make sure your body language is in sync with your words and tone of voice. Watch out for signs of nervousness like fidgeting hands or pacing, which can distract your audience or cause them to lose interest.
If used the right way, presentation tools are very powerful. Don’t fill your slides with data or figures and rely on them to convey your message. Your audience is not sitting there to hear you read out to them. Rather, put minimal information on your slides and use them as signposts. Look at people in the audience from time to time and maintain eye contact to show your interest. Towards the end, you can also try to boost audience engagement by asking if they have any questions.
Adam Chapman works on behalf of Walkerstone in content creation and marketing.
He creates engaging graphics and content that help businesses stand out from the crowd. Over the past 7 years has worked with dozens of SME’s in both an agency and freelance capacity.
The section of that infographic titled Keep Their Attention is awful. A 20-minute (1200 second) attention span makes sense, since we know people watch 18 minute TED talks. But a 12 second attention span is nonsense. In March the BBC radio program More or Less had a 9-minute segment titled The Attention Span of a Goldfish which debunked that junk from the silly Statistic Brain web site.
Thank you for responding, Richard. It's great to see comments that provide perspective.
This is a guest post and I'll inform the author about your comment.
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