General Presentation Tips
A presentation is a powerful tool to convey ideas for education and convincing people. It is not an easy task to give a presentation. It requires fundamental research, public speaking skills, organization and self-confidence. A good presenter has the ability to engage listeners from beginning to end and persuade them to take action. To develop presentation skills you need a lot of practice and knowledge. Here are some general tips and tricks for effective presentations.
The whole process of preparing a presentation can be divided into 3 parts: preparing the talk, slide construction and delivery practice.
Preparing your Talk
- Consider your audience when choosing the topic and style of delivery.
- Grab the attention of the audience with a clear statement and its importance.
- Undertake research of material which may relate to the topic.
- Create an outline and talk to your audience based on it.
- Divide the body of your presentation into three to five main points. Each main point should cover a different aspect of your topic and should be as distinct as possible.
- Structure your presentation in a logical sequence.
- Use the “Keep it Short and Simple” (KISS) method. Stick to the key concepts. Avoid narration of specifics and unnecessary details.
- Use additional material commensurate with your talk. Develop your ideas with stories, examples, vivid descriptions, statistics, etc.
Preparing your Slides
- Font size should be large enough to be easily read. The use of 28 to 34 font size is recommended.
- Apply one universal font for the whole presentation.
- Use contrasting colors; light on dark, or dark on light.
- Describe one idea per slide.
- Follow the “6 x 6” rule. Use about six lines per slide and six words per line.
- Avoid using complete sentences. Try to use short phrases that capture the important points.
- Add photos, graphics and charts. Use quality pictures and large charts. The information on illustrations should be easy to read.
- Include video and audio when appropriate. Using video clips to show concrete examples promotes active cognitive processing, which is the natural way people learn.
- Time yourself. Make sure that you know the time limits and expectations, for the speaking occasion, and that you stick to them.
- Be enthusiastic. A person with extensive knowledge, and who is passionate about the theme, inspires the audience and draws attention.
- Humor is good, but be careful with it. Humor in a presentation works best when it actually drives the presentation ahead.
- Avoid reading your presentation. Use your notes only for reference points to keep you on track.
- Use body language. Keep your eyes on the audience and use natural gestures.
- Speak clearly and distinctly. Project your voice, appropriately, according to your talk.
- Make pauses to give your audience time to digest the information from each new slide.
- Involve your audience. Ask for questions. Always leave time for a few questions at the end of the talk.
Avoiding Common Presentation Mistakes
- Don’t memorize all of your presentation. Try to remember the information by key points.
- Don’t arrange slides in such a way that they are difficult to read and understand.
- Don’t speak quickly. Give the audience time to understand the previous message.
- Don’t talk to the screen. Keep eye contact with your audience.
- Don’t just read from your notes. They are needed only for key points.
- Don’t read the slides aloud. The audience can read it themselves.
- Don’t start your presentation with an apology.
In conclusion, to give effective presentations where the audience gains valuable information in a dynamic way, make sure to prepare well in advance, incorporate appropriate design principles, facilitate sharing of experiences, increase interaction and creative problem solving within the session, and promote a welcoming and nonjudgmental learning environment.