If you have ever stared listless into those devouring eyes draining blood from your legs and making your sweat at freezing temperature, congratulations! You have passed the most daring thing about presentations. Courage to face the aimless bullets is the first step to survive a war. And if you haven’t, well you are missing out big time. I mean literally, these things get exponential increase (in number and value) as the years roll on.
Lets look at some important aspects to take care in order to give an outstanding presentation. Feel free to share your experience during presentations in the comments below.
Start With A Proper Introduction
An introduction is very much necessary to help the audience understand the main message that you would be covering in your presentation.
You can introduce through different ways like:
- What is the topic or what it means?
- How are they (audience) affected?
- Why should they be interested?
- What’s the scenario (factors, environment)?
Never Start with a Quote:
People can never guess the context in which it is meant to be implied if you start your presentation with a quote. Use a short quotation in the middle of the presentation or at the end by co-relating it with the topic of your presentation.
Build up your Story:
Now this can also be done in a number of ways. But generally, the best way is a mix of them. Some people try to “fact brawl” their way against some imaginary opponent. Some rely on charms and emotions. But sharing first hand experiences (even the fictitious way!) can take your presentation to the next level.
For Example, “…the water crisis is the most neglected problem in our country. Just this summer I visited a village on the way to Lahore. This village in question is just a mere 10 km from the main highway. As we shifted from restaurant to restaurant we came to realize that all of them served the same smelling water. The locals were accustomed to it so they couldn’t even realize it. Now imagine 84% of people in Pakistan have no access to safe drinking water. Can you even imagine drinking water that you can’t see through? The children in the village do that every day……”
Stay On Topic:
Going off topic is the most common and fatal mistake. Many people don’t even realize what they did wrong. Going Off topic not only makes the audience’s attention divert from you but will also led to wastage of time. Hence, making less time available to address the main topic.
Styling your Slides;
Don’t write too much on one slide. As a rule of thumb, at least two and not more than four points on one slide and each point no more than 10 words.
Animation give a nice touch. But don’t overdo like adding music.
Include charts, graphs and visuals. Videos are good too but the total run time should be less than half the allotted presentation time.
Dress Up Properly:
This is probably the lamest advice but there is no denying it. Wear a clean uniform or (if you don’t have a dress code) something formal and normal. Just don’t overdress. When you do, the audience gains an obligation to comment on you. And that too while you are talking.
Practice to Remove Stage Fright:
This is the final where most of us sink or swim. If you have time I recommend watching this video. There are tons of video online showing how different people overcome stage fright.
But the underline basic characteristic is practice.How many times can you go wrong? If you do something habitually you can only get better. I can see the introverts sighing at the advice and moving on. Wait. I know it’s hard to break the shell (and you don’t want it to break). But sooner or later you are gonna be under the bus. So why not sooner? You don’t forever want to remain being taunted and relying on others.
Now there are different method for different people. I like to rehearse with instrumental music on my headphones. Standing in front of the mirror works for some. The more you familiarize with the script the more personal it becomes. The perfection is when you can’t seem to forget the words and the emotions start to seep in. This is why it is recommended to write your own script.
Do Check Out the News:
Please run a google news search beforehand on your topic and facts. Facts can change with each passing day. A person calling you out on your topic based on recent events and news is really embarrassing. If you can’t answer some questions than its okay to say “Sorry”. You can also bluff your way out but that is not recommended. If the teacher catches the bluff you are toast.
Some Quick Things to do before a Presentation:
- To calm your nerves, start breathing slowly. Take deep breaths and slowly exhale. No one is gonna drag you off. This is it. Take your time.
- Speak slowly. Don’t fake your accent. No one blames you for being a non – native English speaker. Make sure you can hear and understand yourself.
- Stretching your hands above your hand and faking a yawn also help.
- 5 minutes before your take the spotlight, take 2 sips of water. This helps to keep your throat from drying up.