You may try to skate through your presentation without much preparation. Maybe you plan to rely on your PowerPoint slides, notecards, or good old-fashioned charm. But there is no way around the fact that to prepare to give a good presentation requires practice.
7 Ways to Prepare to Give a Good Presentation
1. Prepare for audience questions. Anticipate questions and practice your response. Write down every question you can think of and your response or a set of “talking points.” Do allow the audience time to ask questions, and let them know you appreciate their questions. Listen carefully to the whole question before answering. Sometimes you may need to read between the lines.
2. Over prepare your introduction. Begin by introducing yourself. Don’t forget to smile. Rehearse your introduction until you can say it without concentrating on the words. Instead, concentrate on your audience. The first seconds of your presentation are critical. If your introduction is boring and without enthusiasm, you will lose your audience from the start.
3. Practice in real location. Rehearse in a place that is as similar as possible to the real place. If at all possible, run through your presentation in the real location. Practice in the voice that you will actually use. Practice decreasing and increasing your volume and changing your pitch to call attention to your most important words and phrases.
4. Practice with the audio visual equipment. Many presentations have flopped because the presenter fumbled around with the audio visual equipment that never worked properly. Be sure that you rehearse with the audio visual equipment that you will be using. Use your own laptop if possible. You will look awkward (pr worse) if you try to use technology that you are not familiar with.
5. Practice your posture. Much has been said about the posture to use during a presentation. The primary goal is that your posture demonstrates confidence. Stand tall and hold your shoulders back. Keep moving comfortably but not pacing. Practice using hand and arm gestures until you look natural.
6. Practice making eye contact. Practice giving your presentation without relying on your notes or PowerPoint. Make a real connection with your audience. Focus on one person long enough to complete a phrase. Making eye contact helps your audience to feel involved in your presentation. When practicing your presentation in front of the mirror, look at your own eyes as much as possible.
7. Practice using the Power Pause. A pause before an important point can be very effective. It takes practice because a pause to the speaker can sometimes feel like an eternity. A long pause can help command attention and generate audience anticipation. Use the power pause to draw the attention of your audience.You can read more about the power pause here.
Attempting to skate through your presentation will not make you a successful presenter.
Practice until you feel confident. The more you practice, the more confident and natural your presentation will be.
What tips can you give us to prepare a good presentation? Please add to the comment section.
You would also benefit by reading:
The Only Way to Prepare to Give a Presentation (Bill Rosenthal)
How to Be Better Prepared for Your Next Presentation (Michael Hyatt)
8 Presentation Tips to Make Your Eye Contact More Powerful (Olivia Mitchell)
8 Steps to Practicing a Presentation (Dr. Mitchelle Mazur)
The Importance of a Good Introduction (Cesar Gomez).