At some point in every student’s career, they will most likely be expected to give a presentation. Whether this presentation is related to academics or presenting research to a group of people, it is vital to develop the skills necessary to effectively engage your audience and deliver the presentation. With that being said, here are some tips to ensure your presentation to be both engaging and informative.
1. Organize the Presentation Effectively
Most presentations will require you to have some sort of visual to go along with your lecture. For this reason, it is important to create a slideshow that informs your audience without distracting them too much.
One of the most renowned rules to follow when creating a presentation is using more pictures than words. In other words, you want to have a slideshow that isn’t full of text or a replica of the speech you are giving, because it will cause the audience to focus more on what they are reading rather than what you are saying. This will result in the audience losing important details that you are including within your speech. Instead of text, using images will help illustrate the key ideas of your speech, which ultimately helps the audience understand the point you are trying to make.
In addition to using more pictures than words, it is important to incorporate colors that aren’t too distracting. Warm colors like red, orange, and yellow are more distracting and aggressive to the eyes. Cool colors, on the other hand, are calmer and less aggressive, which helps stimulate a calm and collected environment for the audience.
2. The 10-20-30 Rule
When it comes to the content of your presentation, it is critical that you don’t throw too much at your audience. The 10-20-30 rule provides a reliable guide to help you do just that: no more than 10 slides, last no more than 20 minutes, and use a font size no less than 30. Incorporating these key ideas into your presentation will help you keep the audience’s attention without boring them due to excess information. In addition, maintaining a font size no less than 30 will allow the audience to have a text size that is easy to see.
3. Practice Your Speaking Techniques
Practicing your speech is one of the best ways you can help yourself deliver an effective presentation. Practicing eye contact, tone, emphasis, body language, incorporation of anecdotes, and volume will allow you to stay engaged with your audience. Simulating the environment can tremendously help you with your pre-speech anxieties, and you can easily do this by presenting in front of your family or your friends. If you are not able to do this, you can also record yourself giving the speech so you can look over it and decide what you need to work on. For more tips and tricks to help you excel in the field of public speaking, click here.
4. Keep it Simple
One of the biggest mistakes you can make in your presentation is being too broad. The goal of a presentation is to deliver information that is easy for your audience to understand. This is important especially if your main priority is to convince and persuade your audience to understand a certain concept. If you are talking about climate change, for example, you want to incorporate graphs and data to help support your argument, rather than repeating general knowledge for 15 minutes straight and talking about loosely related details. Being able to support the specific details of your argument will effectively persuade your audience to understand your take on that particular issue. It is also important that you don’t go off on tangents and start talking about something unrelated, as doing so will only confuse your audience and cause you to lose that connection.
5. Surprise the Audience
Some of the most successful presentations include a related event that completely surprises the audience, thus gaining their immediate attention. In 2009, Bill Gates thoroughly exemplified this idea when he was speaking about the spread of malaria in a TED talk. In the presentation, Gates stated, “Now, malaria is, of course, transmitted by mosquitoes. I brought some here just so you could experience this.” After that, he opened a small jar of non-infected mosquitos and let them roam free. This moment made his TED talks one of the most famous presentations of all time simply because he incorporated creativity into his presentation with something that was directly related to what he was speaking about, thus capturing the audience’s attention. Overall, having something in your presentation that surprises and excites the audience is a key factor to delivering a very successful presentation.
Regardless of whether or not you are comfortable with speaking, you will most likely be expected to give a presentation at some point in your life. For this reason, take the time to learn how to give effective presentations that help convey the main points you are trying to make while keeping hold of the audience’s attention.