I often get asked to give colleagues & business owners feedback on their presentations. Over the years I have observed 3 common areas for development amongst the majority presenters, even experienced presenters.
1) Overuse of power-point: If you must use a power-point, please include no more than 3 points on each slide. Consider combining pictures, sound and symbols as a way to engage with your audience and bring what you are speaking about to life (rather than to inform you what you are speaking about next). There is nothing that puts an audience to sleep faster than a stack of words on a slide being read out to them – “death by powerpoint”.
2) Not beginning a presentation from the centre of the room & re-connecting with your audience: By holding the silence for a few seconds first, you immediately send the message that you are in control of the room and an authority on your topic. How you start is critical in determining how your audience will listen to you.
You will notice that I said ‘reconnecting’ and not ‘connecting’. This is because prior to being at the front of the room, you should take the time to meet as many of your listeners as possible. Consider making yourself available to welcome each person as they arrive, introducing yourself and shaking their hand. By the time they see you centre stage, they have already formed a relationship with you.
3) Not finishing a presentation with a clear call to action: People need to know what to do with the information you have just given them & how they can get more. Not finishing with a specific call to action robs your audience of the integration of the information you have just shared with them.
If you would like to polish your presentation skills or learn how to WOW an audience, we run a one day master class in Sydney 3 times a year. The next one is on Thursday 8th of December. Please contact us for more details.
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