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6 Ways To Help You Become A Better Presenter

woman presenting to coworkers in conference room
by Jess Snader on March 29, 2021

Whether you're a student, an adult in the business world, or just looking to grow your skillset, becoming an expert in public speaking/presenting is an ability you want to perfect. Being able to clearly communicate your ideas, projects, and passions is crucial to their success. We've laid out 7 ways that you can incorporate into your presentations that will take them to the next level.

1. Practice Makes Perfect

man talking to crowd

Practice, practice, and more practice. There's a reason that professional sports players spends hours on end practicing. The more you practice, the better you will be. Practice until your presentation is automatic. Make sure you know the presentation inside and out and can answer any questions your audience may ask.

One of the best things you can do to practice is doing it out loud in front of a mirror or a different audience. It's one thing to practice the presentation in your head and another to say it out loud. By practicing out loud, you can figure out good pause points, which words to enunciate and where your voice inflects. Practicing in front of a mirror will show you what you look like and may help you be more relaxed and less nervous. If you practice in front of a friend, they may be able to provide some feedback and things you could do to improve.

If you're stuck and not sure what to say, it may be helpful to write out an entire script of your presentation. Work your way from looking at the entire script, to creating bullet points to use for reference, to using nothing at all. By the time you've practiced this much, you'll have it down.

2. Know The Material

If you're not an expert on the content in your presentation, then it will be much harder to feel comfortable when explaining it to your audience. It may also lead to a lack of confidence which will translate to an underwhelming delivery. If you want to become a better presenter, your thought process throughout the presentation should be almost instinctive. 

Knowing the content of your presentation will also make the first tip easier. The more you know the less you have to practice and the more natural your presentation will seem. Even if you don't know everything about your topic, don't worry! If someone asks you a question and you don't know the answer, they will respect you a lot more if you admit that instead of trying to make something up.

3. Know Your Audience

man presenting in front of line graph

You can have the greatest content and presentation ever, but if you're not speaking to an audience that cares about your topic, then they will still tune you out. Knowing your audience can make or break your presentation. Know what your audience is interested in and what their needs are. You should be aware of what they plan to get out of your presentation and deliver that. Once you have knowledge of what your audience wants, you can tailor your presentation to them.

If at all possible, try to meet with some of you audience members before and after you presentation. Meeting with them beforehand helps create initial connections which will encourage them to pay closer attention to you. Meeting with them afterwards can answer outstanding questions they may have or can allow you to dive deeper into your content.

4. Tell A Story

woman giving speech

To ensure you are giving a great presentation, you don't want to rattle off facts and statistics. Your goal should be to create enthusiasm about your topic. There are numerous ways in which you can do this in just your presentation alone. You can make visual aids like images, graphs, and fact-sheets. Using videos is also a great assets because videos catch attention faster than still images. More and more people are leaning away from PowerPoints and moving toward a more creative style that has more images and videos. 

Other than changing up your visual aids, you can also add to your content. To capture your audience's attention, you can tell stories and little antidotes since they will break up the presentation. You can also use humor, if that fits with your topic. It is almost always a good idea to get some laughter from your audience. This will loosen the room and help them feel more connected to you.

5. Don't Apologize

Whatever you do, don't apologize before, during, or after your presentation. Saying "I'm sorry" gives the audience a chance to see faults in you. You want to appear confident and knowledgeable about your topic! Instead of saying sorry, try to replace and apology with a thank you. For example, instead of saying "I'm sorry I'm late", you can say "thank you for waiting for me". Saying the latter will portray confidence and poise.

6. Have A Plan B

plan a puzzle piece into plan b piece

Lastly, and probably the most important, you should ALWAYS have a backup plan. Unexpected things will happen. You computer might run out of battery or the projector might blow a bulb. In any case, it is important to have some type of plan in case of emergency.

Your presentation must happen. No matter what. Even if you are left without visual aids, you should still be able to present. Your graphics were only there to enhance your point and guide you. If you've practiced enough, you shouldn't even need them.

If you use the tips above, you are bound to become better presenter in no time. Looking for a place to give your presentation? Consider booking with us at The Nook. We have plenty of options and tons of space!

Topics: meetings and events