Good speeches, presentations, seminars, workshops, etc. have a number of common elements. Learning how to develop your presentation skills (particularly when doing PowerPoint presentations) can improve your career and help to make your subject more appealing to your audience – which should be one of your key goals.
- Stick to the main points. One solid piece of advice for giving a good talk is to keep your speech or presentation to a few main points. Base your talk on one central theme, and support it with a few key points. You can support those key points with examples, case studies, stories, facts, etc. For example, suppose you are giving a presentation on “Writing an effective email.” Your three key points could be:
– Write a powerful, relevant subject line.
– State your purpose in the opening paragraph.
– Conclude with a call to action.
- Know your audience. It is very important to know who you will be presenting to so that you can tailor your speech accordingly. Don’t say the same things to different groups of people. Find out what people are interested in, and speak to those topics. Ask several key audience members what interests them, and what they want to get out of the presentation. Use the opening of your presentation to work in a reference to the situation. This will get your audience interested from the beginning of your talk.
- Provide great content. Focus on a few clear and specific points, and provide a lot of details to support those points. Organize details and examples to keep the talk interesting.
- Tell interesting stories. People remember stories, anecdotes, and relevant examples because they affect real people’s lives.
- Be enthusiastic. Show enthusiasm for your topic and your audience will care about what you have to say.
- Personalize your information. Customize the opening of your talk to your audience, and insert relevant points throughout to keep them engaged. Research your audience ahead of time, or talk to a few people before your presentation. I saw a comedian from the U.S. who made a number of jokes about things he saw when he came to town, and we laughed even more because we could relate to the content.
Do you have any tips for providing great presentations? Let me know – firstname.lastname@example.org.