Things To Do Ahead Of The Presentation
Be as organised and prepared as possible – this will boost your confidence.
Practice the presentation over and over so that you have it memorised – say it out loud!
Make sure you are familiar with the room and equipment.
Produce handouts if you have been asked to.
Group presentations: make sure each person knows their part and the order flows well.
Things To Do (And Not Do!) During The Presentation:
Accept that you may be a little bit nervous – everyone is, even experienced presenters!
Formal or informal? Dress appropriately for your audience. This has an impact on the impression you make.
Try to speak at a natural speed – nerves will make you speed up. Take deep breaths and pauses. Speak clearly, but don’t shout; try and judge the acoustics of the room.
Engage with your audience by altering the pitch and tone of your voice. However, you should try and avoid this sounding contrived or unnatural.
Present don’t read!
One of the worst presentation offences is reading from sheets of notes! This removes engagement with the audience and is very boring to watch! Learn your presentation in the preparation stage so that the graphics and bullet points on the screen are all you need. If absolutely necessary take short notes in with you containing the main points to be covered.
Avoid them unless you are a natural comedian!
Avoid nervous habits such as fiddling with things, buttons, hair etc.
Look around at all sections of the audience and make eye contact, but don’t fix on an individual! Some natural movement is desirable, but avoid pacing or swaying. Don’t turn round to face the display screen and put your back to the audience. Stand to the side of the screen so that you don’t block anyone’s view.
Be prepared if someone interrupts you to ask a question during your talk. View this positively – the audience are paying attention and participating!
Thanks and questions
At the end of your presentation thank the audience for listening and ask if they have any questions. Make sure the whole audience is aware of any question asked, repeat it if necessary so everyone can hear it.
If you can’t answer a question just admit it. You could always say you will try to research an answer and send it to the person later. If none has any questions, try asking the audience a question you have prepared – this shows confidence and preparation!