Sun. Jul 14th, 2024

Upgrade your next presentation – SmartBrief

By Vaseline May30,2024

Improve your next presentation by identifying what is essential for the audience to learn and exude confidence as you speak, writes Paul Thornton.

3 minutes reading



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Thoughtful preparation and dedicated practice will take your performance during your next presentation to the next level.

Focus on two things: your message and your delivery.

Preparing your message

Clear thinking is a prerequisite for crafting a persuasive message.

  • Start by answering these questions: What is the problem or opportunity you are addressing? Why is it essential for the public? Write down your answers and discuss them with a trusted advisor. Continue revising your answers until they are accurate and clear.
  • Come up with a provocative title. Use it to arouse the audience’s curiosity about your topic.
  • Prepare a strong opening. Describe the problem or opportunity and explain why it is relevant and meaningful to them. Also provide an overview or simple roadmap of the points you will cover.
  • Present your big idea. Use the most appropriate facts, examples, stories and analogies to explain your ideas. Use the most compelling numbers, statistics, and emotional appeals to convince the audience to support your plan. Always mention ‘what is in it for them’.
  • Sedit your summary and request. Reiterate your big idea, the payoff for the audience and what you want them to do next.

Conveying your message

Start making a good first impression – project confidence by being prepared. Look professional with your attire, posture and commanding presence.

  • Eye Contact — Make contact with people in all parts of the room. Maintain eye contact with the same person until you finish your sentence.
  • Gestures — When you have a strong sense of an idea, you automatically use gestures. Increase the impact of your gestures by making them larger and holding them for a few seconds.
  • Voice Level — Increase your voice level to show your passion and conviction. Lower your volume to attract attention.
  • Use pauses – Give the audience a chance to process and process what you have said. Pauses also create tension for what you will say next.
  • Transitions — Let the audience know when you’re moving to a new point.
  • Signal words — No matter how good your presentation is, people’s attention will wander. Use signal words to motivate the audience to pay attention: “This next point is very important.” “If you remember nothing else, remember this…”

Finally, practice your delivery. Actors, singers and athletes all spend many hours practicing before performing live. Dr. Jill Bolte-Taylor rehearsed her highly successful TED talk 200 times before presenting it.

Each presentation offers the opportunity to produce compelling content, supported by an inspiring presentation. Take your next presentation to a 5-star performance!

The opinions expressed by SmartBrief contributors are their own.


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