Getting ready for giving a seminar and it got me thinking about presentations what works and what doesn’t.  I did a bit of a survey in our KAT Marketing office and these are our top “prepping for a presentation” tips or if you will Dos and (probably just as important) some Don’ts.

Be prepared

I know there are those rare individuals that are great at “winging it” but this is risky and we believe preparation is key!   Write it down and if you have a crisis you can read your notes.  But more than that, writing it down is a part of the preparation ensuring you have thought out what you are presenting.   Research, knowing your audience is key – business execs, students, hostile, friendly?  And then tailor your presentation accordingly. If you don’t know the audience ask!  Practice, if you do a dress rehearsal you will know what works and what needs tweaking.

Speak from the heart

People respond to people that speak from the heart and are interested and passionate about the topic – if you don’t care why they should?

Get them from the go

The first few minutes of a presentation are critical – grab the audience’s attention at the beginning or lose them forever (okay perhaps forever is a bit melodramatic but you get my point).

Keep it short

Attention spans are short so keep your presentation brief, instead engage and connect with your audience with a Q&A session! If you are facing a tough audience practice answering some difficult questions with a friend/colleague, it will make you feel calmer and your answers more succinct.  Don’t lose your rag with tricky audience members or hecklers – be polite, keep your sense of humour!

Master the technology or not

We have all been to presentations where the presenter is seemingly defeated by technology and the audience is distracted by the AV.  Master the technology – if you use it get it right!  A rehearsal often irons out any issues!  A visual aid is meant to be exactly that, an aid, the focus needs to be on the speaker with the visuals supporting! The presentation is more attention grabbing if it is visual graphics rather than text led slides packed full of too much detail.  You can literally see an audience zone out if the presenter is reading the slides… don’t!

Mentally prepare

 “Begin with the end in mind” is a favourite KAT saying, visualise perfection and make it happen.  Think about your body language and eye contact.  If you feel nervous shift your focus from the crowd to one person and you will deliver a more personal experience.

And to conclude

Attention spans are short and concentration waivers so add a conclusion and sum it all up! Make it clear you are concluding and regain attention.

And our tips in brief:

  1. Be prepared
  2. Speak from the heart
  3. Get them from the go
  4. Keep it short
  5. Master the technology or don’t use it
  6. Mentally prepare
  7. Conclude

For more information on presentations, training and how we can help you deliver your key messages and make the most out of every opportunity talk to the team at KAT Marketing.