Whether you are persuading colleagues, selling a client, or energizing a team, the power of your presentation makes the difference between success and failure. These techniques are useful for managers, executives, sales people, and anyone who might meet members of the media. Anyone who is part of a workplace will find the opportunity to utilize these techniques whether they are presenting to colleagues, clients, or potential investors.
There are four stages to perfecting your presentation:
Plan – Determine how your topic relates to the audience. Define the purpose of your talk as it relates to the outcome you seek. Plan the content of your presentation around your purpose, your audience’s interest, and the audience’s level of understanding of the topic. Use words and phrases common to your audience, and focus on your purpose.
Prepare – Establish a positive mindset by valuing your message and preparing the structure and timing of your presentation. The structure consists of three parts:
Practice – Review your content, rehearse, and get feedback on your presentation, and build enthusiasm and confidence to present. Rehearse the timing of your presentation to be sure that it falls within your time limits. Be sure to allow time for questions, if it’s appropriate. Consider videotaping yourself rehearsing, and then review the videotape for distracting mannerisms and other signs of nervousness. Remember that the best cure for nervousness is confidence and that confidence comes with practice.
Present – Make a positive first impression. If possible, establish eye contact with your audience. Be yourself and relax. Own your subject and build rapport with the audience to hold their attention and project the value of your message. When speaking, be natural. Speak in a heightened conversational tone. Slow down and emphasize important points, pausing before and after key points to set them apart.