Giving a presentation can be very stressful. Most people do not like speaking in public to being with. If you add to it the pressure of having to relay information to people, it becomes a nightmare. However, like most things in life, a little preparation beforehand can make all the difference. Here are some hints and skills so your next presentation is your best presentation.
Let’s start at the beginning. What is a presentation? In short, it is a form of communication. That’s all it is. Keep that in mind throughout: the purpose of your presentation is to communicate to people. So now that we have that out of the way, let’s prepare. The more work you put into a presentation BEFORE it happens, the better it will be. This is called being prepared. The first step in this process is determining what the objective of your presentation is. Ask yourself the following question: Why? Once you have that answer, you have the reason for your presentation, or your objective.
Second, we need to figure out what the subject of the presentation is. This might be a very easy thing to figure out. The answer comes in part from the objective. If you know what the objective, or purpose for your presentation is, then you probably know what the subject is. What is it you will be presenting on and why? These two pieces of information are very important. You do not want to be presenting on the French Language when you were supposed to be talking about electrical engineering.
Third, who is the audience? Think about your teachers here at Awesome. They speak differently depending on what level of student they are talking to. They use different vocabulary for Level one than they might for an IELTS class. This is because they understand who their audience is. They are adjusting their presentation method because of who they are talking to. That is something you need to think about before your presentation. Some things to consider include but are not limited to: the size of the audience, their age, gender, whether this is their work or free time, are they familiar with the subject, and so on. Also, are you there to inform, teach, stimulate, or provoke the audience? This goes back to your objective and the question of why you are presenting. Again, your presentation will change greatly depending on why you are there.
Next, consider the space you are presenting in. Any good public speaker can tell you about a time they were giving a presentation and they brought their laptop only to find out that there was no projector in the presentation space. Likewise, they can tell you about a nice small intimate conversation they prepared, only to find out they were speaking to 300 people in a giant room. These things are important. If you want to do an interactive presentation, it might be hard to do in a large space or with a large crowd.
Lastly, how long is the presentation supposed to be? If you are just one of many presenters, you need to finish at the time you are told to. Otherwise, you are being rude, and making it difficult for the next presenter to be effective. Practice your presentation at least once before you actually do it and time yourself.