Here is another question from LinkedIn…
“Could anyone give me a few tips for an excellent performance at an academic foreign policy presentation next week?”
My advice to the requester:
First, don’t use Powerpoint for text.
I know, I know.
Most of the business and educational world will tell you to put together a good PowerPoint presentation. I will suggest to you to put together a good Presentation. Then if must use PowerPoint, use it for visuals. Charts, tables, and photos. Visuals do three things, in order of importance.
Photos show a thing that cannot be adequately described or must be accurately recognized. Charts give the audience a visual comparison of numbers, allowing them to see the difference. Tables give the audience a visual representation of large groups of numbers. That’s what a PowerPoint slide is good for.
However, a good presentation is an intriguing weave of words that attracts, explains, and persuades your audience like reading a good book. Remember listening to someone tell you a good story? That’s how you should make your audience feel.
Use descriptive phrases and intriguing example stories. Pull the stories from your own life experiences, professional and personal. Use the stories that you share with your friends and family in informal settings. Chances are, you’ve told them many times already. Tie them in with points in your presentation.
Most importantly… practice, practice, PRACTICE. Any athlete can tell you that the ratio of time spent in practice is phenomenally large in comparison to time in the game. If the presentation is important to you and your career, give it the time needed for you to be confident, competent, and fully comfortable in practice.
This is a quick summary of what I consider to be some of the most important points in a good presentation. There are many more, such as: using the singular you, using eye contact without scanning the audience, good use of pauses. Many people fear the pause.
My best advice to you… Get some help and/or coaching before you need it. But you can still put together a good presentation right now. Good Luck!
What are some of those resources? Check out my links at right. But I also like the World Champions Edge for continuous coaching by experts and peers. You call also use Toastmasters International for more continuous learning opportunities.
Do you have any suggestions for someone trying to put together a good presentation? Let me know.