Planning perfect presentations involves preparation, planning and practice. Rehearsal is essential for an effective presentation. It increases your confidence, and teases out any problems with your materials. For a smooth presentation you should always practice your delivery, and test your props.
A powerful presentation is about so much more than the message it is delivering. Of course the message is vitally important but unless you are able to deliver an engaging presentation the message could be lost.
Tips for a presentation rehearsal
Work on your confidence
This is a tricky one. Some people have confidence in abundance, and revel in public speaking, others are struck with abject terror at the thought, and many of us are somewhere in the middle. Very few people relish the prospect of public speaking. By it’s very nature you are made to feel vulnerable; you are exposed to potential judgement and disapproval. It is undoubtedly a challenging task.
So, start at the beginning. Preparation is everything. If you know your audience and topic well you are a credible source of information and this will give you confidence.
Define your audience. Be clear about who you are presenting your ideas to and why. What will they be hoping to gain from participating? How can you make this a good use of their time?
Know your topic. Make sure your purpose is clear. Your message should be well ordered, correct and factual. Ideally you will know your subject well before you conduct a presentation. However, sometimes you may be requested to present on something you are not familiar with. In this instance you must take time to do your research and formulate your ideas.
Use supporting material. Refer back to research already conducted, statistics or quotes from well respected figures. This reinforces the credibility of the presentation. If you still don’t feel credible, you can also directly address this by saying you understand that they may be surprised or be sceptical, but you have done your research and you know what you are talking about.
Choose a method
Of course, there is more than one way to deliver a presentation. Which one suits your style and message most appropriately? How you present is almost as important as the message itself. Your aim is to interest the audience and influence them.
You have taken the time to know your audience, now consider which method of presentation will appeal to them the most. Practice it. Have a go at different methods and decided which feels mosts comfortable to you.
Understandably the topic you are presenting on will often be of great interest and importance to you. You could spend all day thinking and talking about it. This is unlikely to also be true of your audience.
You need to give a reasonable timescale to your presentation and make sure this does not run over. If your rehearsal is taking too long you need to go back to your material and start weeding. Pull out sections which are too long winded. Make sure your slides and powerpoint presentations are snappy and not too wordy. Always remember less is more. Don’t use 20 words if 10 is enough. Keep your information short and sharp. Always make sure you allow time for others to feedback and ask questions. Around 80% of the time can be given to the presentation with 20% for questions and feedback.
Engage in Learning provide online courses to help you make perfect presentations. Our Planning a Powerful Presentations course will help you structure your ideas clearly, be aware of your audience and their needs, and use visuals that impact to enhance your presentations.