Jul 032013

Think of the last memorable presentation you’ve been to, is it easy to remember? Unfortunately many presentations are forgettable, and that’s a problem because that means presentations are not serving their purpose of communicating a message or information to the audience. The following steps will help you be a better presenter and make more effective presentations.

1. Research your topic. It’s important to spend enough time collecting and confirming information in order to speak with confidence and knowledge.

2. Organize. Organize the main points in the most appropriate order for the topic you’re presenting. Avoid writing complete sentences or paragraphs and prepare note cards to help you elaborate on the information presented.

3. Practice. Do not memorize written texts. Try to understand the topic to the best of your ability so you can communicate it well during the presentation and meet the time limit. Practice for a friend or a family member and get their feedback on your presentation skills.

4. Deal with your stress. It’s common to be stressed before a presentation, try picturing yourself impressing the audience. Also, it’s important to relax before the presentation and think about nothing but how to make the most out of it.

5. Look presentable. Dress well for the presentation, usually a formal outfit is preferred to show the level of professionalism. Appearance says a lot about someone’s personality and confidence.

6. Keep eye contact. Do scanning the room technique by keeping an eye contact with as many people as you can.

7. Speak clearly. Speak in a load and clear voice to get your presentation through to the audience even the ones sitting further away.

8. Engage your audience. Some useful ways to do that are sharing a funny yet tasteful story, or pose a question to see how much they know about the subject you’re about to discuss.

9. Answer questions at the end of the presentation. Make sure you listen to the questions carefully, ask for clarifications if needed and repeat the question to the rest of the audience to give you more time to think about the answer. If you don’t know the answer for a question be honest and say that you will look into it since you don’t know the answer in the meantime.

10. Learn from your experience. Ask your employers or professors for their feedback to be able to identify your strengths and weaknesses and help you improve for next time.

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