Presentation planning is a helpful and crucial skill both in professional and academic worlds. However, its takes some time and dedication, no matter whether you want to get a passing grade or need to sell products. To ensure a successful project presentation, take these important steps:
- Figure out the most effective method to construct materials;
- Consider the audience;
- Determine the right point;
- Work on building materials and slides;
- Gather your information in a logical manner to illustrate the chosen point clearly.
You should practice your presentation regularly to deliver it successfully. Besides, this simple technique can help you find any information that must be restructured or cut.
How to gather the necessary materials
Take into account the main goal of your presentation and start with considering the end when planning it. Determine what you want to convey and the most effective ways to achieve your goals. Jot down only crucial points and see whether any key ideas emerge. Most presentations involve sharing valuable information, but bombarding the audience is not enough to succeed. Define a bigger point that you want to make with available information.
Considering your audience
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People who come to see your presentation usually have their specific expectations. Find out more about them, their beliefs, backgrounds, etc. This information can help you easily structure your project around their needs. How much background information will the audience have about a given topic? You should fill in some blanks for them, so consider everything unknown for your audience. What does it expect from your presentation? Give the right answer to guide your project in a correct direction.
Choosing the main points
Determine the points, facts, and statements that illustrate the main theme of your presentation effectively and include them in its body. Consider its length because it has a direct impact on the number of your points included. Any information must flow in a cohesive manner in your project presentation.
Finding supporting information
Conduct your deep research to determine the best supporting information that will get other people thinking and inspire possible changes. It serves a few basic purposes, including:
- Adding more clarity to the main argument and explaining anything that your audience may not fully comprehend;
- Adding more authority and making the necessary connections with existing studies, research, and information about a given subject;
- Adding more color to a major argument, so try to use different visuals, such as videos and pictures.
How to choose the best trajectory for your presentation
Start your project with a strong introduction to grab the attention of others. After gathering the necessary information, you need to outline your presentation. Include the brief basics of introducing yourself and find an effective way to win people’s interest and attention. Open your presentation with an interesting question, a relevant fact, or anything that can make others curious right away.
Present your work and research in the body that should be about 60-70% of your presentation. Put the best ideas and points in this section and choose the right way to present valuable information in a logical manner. For example, you can start with explaining a particular problem, move to its consequences, and offer an effective solution.
Using linking statements, graphics, and visuals
Use different linking statements to make all points clear. They are suitable transitional statements that bridge any baps between your ideas. Use them to signal to the audience that you want to switch subtopics and avoid making your presentation confusing.
Use helpful graphics and visuals in your projects because people often get bored with lecturing and data. Add more graphics to slides to make them engaged and interested in learning more. If you have any bright diagrams and graphs that illustrate your points, don’t hesitate to use them. Seeing your information physically can help others grasp your ideas clearly. Find out whether there are any suitable videos that you can include in your project presentation, as they will make it more successful. Besides, every slide should have a relevant picture.
Concluding your presentation correctly
A closing section of your project should sum up all points while leaving others considering a presented subject. It should be about 5-10% of your entire presentation, and this means that you need to keep a conclusion brief and use these helpful tips:
- Use only one slide;
- Add a last visual to summarize your point;
- Recap your main point;
- Use a helpful diagram or graph.
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The importance of practicing your presentation
When practicing the project that you want to present, spend only a few minutes on one slide, or your audience will get bored fast. If you talk longer, cut your information and use your regular voice to guarantee accuracy. Keep all facts relevant to the main theme and get rid of any irrelevant details. Although some of them may seem quite interesting, they don’t really illustrate your points. Cut any information that doesn’t speak to the chosen theme. It’s good to illustrate them with examples, but don’t overcrowd your presentation with them.
Listen to yourself presenting a project and determine the areas that should be improved. Ensure that you sound quite enthusiastic and without any hesitance when doing it. Use the necessary linking sentences and determine whether your presentation goes too long. Keep practicing to avoid using notes too often and deliver your project smoothly.
Helpful presentation strategies
When preparing your presentation, there are certain strategies that can help you succeed. First, you need to connect with the audience and show your passion. It’s difficult to relax and stay yourself if you feel anxious or nervous. Connecting with the audience is one of the most important things that determine the future success of your presentation. You can succeed by letting your passion for the chosen matter shine through. Stay honest and enthusiastic about the things that are important to you and explain why they matter to get the necessary response from other people.
Focusing on the needs of your audience
Build your project around something that the audience will get out of it. When preparing your project presentation, keep in mind its basic needs and decide what you will tell others. When presenting it, stay focused on the response of people and react to it immediately. Your goal is to make it simple for them to both respond and understand your ideas.
Concentrating on the main message
When planning your future presentation, you can keep everything simple by considering one important question. What is the core message for the audience to take away? It’s necessary to communicate it briefly and effectively. Some professors recommend a brief elevator summary, while others advise to write on a card. No matter of your chosen method, keep the main message brief and focused. If something that you want to say doesn’t contribute to it, get rid of this information.
Making eye contact
Smiling and making eye contact with participants may sound a simple strategy, but there are many people who fail to use it. This is how you build rapport and help others connect with the chosen subject. Use this method to feel less stressed and nervous because you talk to people. They need to see you and all the materials that you use clearly.
Making a strong beginning
The beginning of your project is important, so use it to grab and hold people’s attention. Remember that you have only a few minutes to entertain them before losing their interest, so don’t waste this time on saying unnecessary things. For example, it’s possible to use any attention-grabbing image or an interesting story to achieve this goal.
Following the main rule for slides
When using your slides, follow one important rule that asks you to ensure that they all:
- Last no longer than 20 minutes;
- Contain up to 10 slides;
- Use a 30-point font size.
This rule is crucial because it stops you from including too much information on a single slide. Ensure that any data that you use will be your slideshow. It’s always better to show less information that more.
Telling the audience interesting stories
All people are programmed to respond to different stories well because they help them pay attention and remember useful things. Use them in your project presentation to engage the audience and help others remember important ideas. Start it with a catchy story or make the entire presentation act like it. Determine the one you want to tell others and create a presentation to serve this purpose.
To tell people the best story, use a few basic storytelling techniques in your project. You need to find a great story behind it by focusing on characters. That’s because all people have their unique stories, so determine who is involved in the chosen subject and use them as a focal point. Your story requires something to change along its way, and you should take care of its changing dynamic.
Using your own voice efficiently
The spoken word is quite an inefficient communication tool because it’s focused only on one of the senses of your audience. That’s why any successful presentation requires different visual aids. Besides, you can help you make the spoken word more effective and ensure its success by using your own voice correctly. Vary your speech and emphasize pitch changes to make your voice more engaging for others and hold their attention.
Why use your own body during a presentation
When presenting any project, it’s estimated that more than of your communication is non-verbal. This means that both your body language and tone of voice play an important role in getting the main message across. Ensure that you give the right message by using the best body language and avoiding these common mistakes:
- Pacing the stage;
- Hands held either in pockets or behind your back;
- Crossed arms.
All of your gestures should be confident and open. You need to move around the stage naturally when possible.
How to relax and enjoy this process
If you find the next project a big hard to complete, it’s difficult to stay relaxed and calm about its successful presentation. You can stay concentrated by focusing on your breathing. Try to slow it down and breathe fully to avoid unwanted nervousness. Keep pausing for breathing from time to time during your presentation. If you know how to relax and stay calm, you increase a chance of presenting your project better. Furthermore, if you start enjoying yourself during this process, other people will respond to it and engage in your presentation better. This simple technique will improve your relevant skills and boost confidence too, so it’s worth giving it a try.
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