Short and sweet, here it is: Cardphile’s list of Top 10 Favorite Presentation Tips.
- Why am I here?
Align your goals with audience expectations. Like most things in life, your audience is almost always more interested in their own problems than in yours. This concept should guide your entire presentation.
- Get to the point.
Introduce the topic without too much talk about you. It’s just like your high school English teacher told you: Introduce your story, tell your story, conclude with a recap of the story. Beginning – Middle – End.
- It’s Art + Science.
Organize your content. Follow the Rule of Three to engage your audience.
Design slides and choose props in creative, unexpected ways—avoid clutter.
Deliver the message—be genuine and let your voice shine through—move around.
- Do your homework.
If you’re not the expert, you’ll need to become one. Make sure your understanding of the presentation material is comprehensive. Be organized and concise.
- You’re the Boss.
Don’t let your presentation software boss you around. Images convey concepts more quickly than text. Use good design and striking images to reinforce concepts—only use necessary text.
Find someone to listen and critique your presentation. Make changes based on their feedback, and then present again. Smooth presentations elevate the message, and are the result of organization and practice. Practice reduces anxiety.
- Emergency plan.
Know what you’ll do if the projector fails, your handouts are missing, the venue changes or, our personal favorite, you have the equivalent of a screaming baby in the front row.
Ask questions of your audience and, above all, listen!
- Death by Handouts.
High quality handouts and supplemental materials reinforce your message to attendees—but may be distracting if you hand them out before your presentation.
- Leave before they kick you out!
We don’t claim to be the experts, but we’ve learned a lot from our customers over the years and we always try to share anything that might be useful.
In case you missed it, here’s a link to our earlier post on presentation tips for small business marketing and proposals where you’ll find additional information and links to some of the real experts in the field of presentation.