Three keys to presentation success

Posted on 2016/09/21

 

There is some much to remember when it comes to giving a presentation that it can be very intimidating if you’ve never given one before, or if you’re giving the presentation of your career. What’s worse is that everyone keeps telling you how easy it is. But, no matter how nervous you are and even if it is your first presentation, if you remember these three keys you’ll be unlocking presentation success in no time.

Tell Stories

Though you might be tempted to rely on facts and figures to get your point across during a presentation, this isn’t the best way of getting through to your audience. Stories are something that people love to hear and listening to a story about how a product has impacted someone rather than preaching about what a product can do is always going to have a much bigger impact.

It doesn’t matter what kind of presentation you are giving either, you could be talking about how replacing the railway lines south of Edinburgh has reduced delays and why replacing them outside of Glasgow is the next thing to do to get a more effective rail service. If you start telling your audience about how a certain train has been running late since the 1960s and for the last week has been arriving on time due to the rail replacement, it is going to be picked up on by more people than quoting a statistic that 37% more trains are now running on time.

Speak with passion

Passion is something that can never be underestimated. There is nothing more off putting than sitting through someone talking in a dull and interested way about any subject – even worse if it is something that is very dry to begin with.

If you look like you want to be there and that you are excited about what you have to say, your audience is going to respond to you in a much more positive way. You might be nervous, but as long as you can talk to and not at your audience, you will get a good response.

Being passionate can often result in people getting wrapped up in what they are saving and dragging people along with them. The effect of this is magnified when you use eye contact too. Making eye contact makes people feel like you are addressing them personally, if you ask a question, they feel like they want to respond to it, because you’ve made eye contact. Smiling is also a great way to get a positive response from your audience – like yawning, smiling is infectious, and if you’re making eye contact and smiling at people, they gestures are going to be returned.

Interaction

Creating a presentation that gives people something to respond to is the third key to a successful presentation. Don’t be afraid to ask your audience questions. Using IQ polls can help to get people engaging with questions right from the start and also an easy way to receive feedback on the subject you’ve been giving your presentation on.

But don’t limit your questions to those that only have a simple one word response. Asking your audience to talk about the most frustrating aspect of using a certain piece of software will have other people in the room agreeing or even giving their experience – something that you can then use to talk about how your software doesn’t have those problems and demonstrate it for all to see.

There are lots of tips and tricks to overcoming fear when it comes to public speaking, but if you can remember these three keys to presentation success, you’ll be a master of presentations in no time.