Guidelines: For a Better Presentation!
Let’s start from the very basics of presentation rules which you already might be familiar with. Like for instance; preparation, eye contact, body language and adding colors and more graphics etc. I would now add a few things from my experience.
Do your homework well. Study the current situation along with all the background of events. Break down the data into simpler, accessible information. In order to make others understand an idea, your mind should understand it well first. Eradicate any difficult, unfamiliar word or terms in the presentation. Trying too hard to look cool is NOT cool.
Try avoiding that piece of paper or flashcards of presentation if you can. They are a huge distraction in your eye contact. It disrupts audience’s attention. Prepare as if you are an expert on that subject. Even if you are not, make believe that today you know more about the topic than anyone else. This is because you came prepared. A well prepared presenter never needs flashcards, they know their sequential steps.
Picking the right outfit is very simple thing yet everyone makes a mistake here. Pick an attire you are most comfortable in. Comfort is the keyword. This will enhance your confidence. It helps keeping your mind off unnecessary worries. Secondly what’s really annoying is when girls come to a presentation dressed for a wedding. Avoid heavy makeup, and to sparkling dress, the audience is here for your idea not your looks. And a tip for girls: keeping your hair loose would NOT get you any extra credit.
Presenting should be with a flow. But avoid emotionless reading like a news reporter. Emotions would add life to you presentation. Show you are confident. You know what you are talking about. Eye contact is a good way to show your confidence. Be interactive, ask questions. Don’t let you your audience sleep. Hold their attention throughout the presentation. Have your hair nicely tied if you are a girl. Avoid touching your hair too often. Avoid gestures which might give your audience an impression that you are nervous.
Eye contact is an essential element of presenting. Although often neglected by many. Why people fear having an eye contact is they think it would make them sweat harder. However it’s a wrong perception for eye contact adds to you confidence. It prevents audience’s attention to divert. Also makes audience to respect you enough to listen to you.
Being nervous is normal. But there are ways to conceal it. An effective presenter never let it show. Everyone gets nervous but the question is for how long? Learn to decrease the time period of stress to a few seconds maybe. Remember once your mind it off the stage fright you would be outstanding. It varies from person to person how they distract their mind and how fast they do it. Getting involved with the audience would make you comfortable and relieve much of your stress.
The first rule is never ever getting defensive. Being defensive is the first mistake. Stay positive when asked questions. Questions can sometimes be too silly or too difficult to answer. Be patient and just smile if it’s too silly, but never degrade the person. Answer politely. If it’s too difficult and you don’t know the answer, be honest. If you can, smartly relate it to something you already know then let them know you came prepared. You don’t need to know everything to answer audience’s question. All you need is the right tone, and good communication skills.
Second biggest mistake people make is; not understanding the question. Don’t rush to answers. Take a while to understand the question asked.
Keep the audience in a good light mood. If audience is too lazy to listen; make them listen by cracking a joke. Laugh with them where they find you funny, even if you did not expect a laugh. People can be very unpredictable. So just go with the flow. Smiles and laughs would not only keep the environment friendly but also positive. Additionally it releases your stress and makes you look good.
Yes it’s a lot but one step at a time gets you there. Avoid being too excited. Stay flawless. Too enthusiastic attitude might make you stutter or stumble. This can lead to undeniable decrease in confidence level. Whereas an increases in stress. Stay calm, effortless, and positive. Yet be volatile and dynamic.