If your natural habitat isn’t on the stage giving a presentation, then you might find this task completely daunting. Even salespeople, who you would think are more equipped to want to present, may need some help with becoming a “natural”. So to help you, we’ve compiled a ‘Top 6’ list of things that can help you to remember to do when you’re giving your presentation:
1. Don’t memorise your speech off by heart.
If you choose to learn your entire speech you run the risk of forgetting something within it, then things can get way out of hand, quickly. You also risk finding yourself unable to get back on track.
2. Prepare your presentation.
Don’t attempt to speak off the cuff or without pre-thought. If you carefully prepare an outline of what you want to cover you won’t have to worry about forgetting something important. You could choose to have a presentation as a visual aid for the audience and yourself, or you would choose to use cue cards to help you remember key points.
3. Be knowledgeable about the topic.
You will be much more comfortable talking about something about which you know about, so do your research and ask the questions that you would anticipate your audience would ask.
4. Practice then rehearse then practice then rehearse then practice.
No great speech was ever given without practice. Rehearsal is your best way of understanding the speed, pitch, tone and use of any aids (presentation, microphone, screen, space, audience, etc.). I really like rehearsing in front of a full-length mirror – it doesn’t lie.
5. Anticipate questions from the audience.
If you come up with a list of potential questions your audience might have, you will be able to prepare your answers or include them within your presentation.
6. Be visual.
A PowerPoint or a Prezi Presentation will make your presentation more interesting and will give your audience something to focus rather than 100% on you. Check to make sure the venue is set up with all that you need and that you practice working with these aids.
This is not the entire list of what you need to succeed, but it’s an excellent start to help your next presentation to be memorable and professional.