Whether you are an entrepreneur, student, analyst or manager, you need to present your ideas, insights or recommendations at some point. Presenting in front of people is inevitable in several cases. Presentation skills are one of the most in-demand, yet not mastered by many. This article will provide some tips and tools that will improve your presentation skills and make you stand out.
Confidence and Pronunciation
Confidence is the magnet that gives you credibility and leaves the audience waiting to hear what you have to say. Your audience, no matter their seniority, perceives you as the expert on the material you are delivering. As expected to be knowledgeable, they would expect you to be ready and excited to share your work with them. In addition, your audience doesn’t know the content of the presentation, therefore a clear voice makes it easier for them to follow, understand and get engaged.
Tips that help increase your confidence while presenting:
- Preparation: It is important to get the full presentation information ahead. For example the background/number of the audience, duration of the presentation, and location. It is important that you prepare your presentation ahead of time living room for modification or adjustment rather than rushing at the last minute. In addition, having a saved backup of the presentation brings the feeling of extra security. Try not to have last-minute emergencies, even pick your outfit, the night before.
- Master your Material: Ensure that you do your homework and you know your material inside out. People won’t be able to trust you if you don’t trust yourself. Knowledge and confidence grow proportionally.
- Practice Practice Practice: It goes without saying that rehearsing the presentation aloud and timing it is basic preparation for any public speaking.
- Affirmation: Before your presentation, it would be helpful to take a few deep breaths and remind yourself of your awesomeness.
- Perspective: Presentations are often opportunities. They are a window for you to get exposure to your seniors, investors, clients, interviewer… Seeing the opportunity behind every presentation might be a motivation for you to give it your best shot.
Organization and simplicity should be your priority while presenting. It is important that your audience are able to follow and understand the message that you are delivering. What is obvious to you after your long research might not be obvious to your audience. Therefore, it is important to walk them through the thinking process.
Below, I will be sharing with you one of the most used structures that can help you organise your presentation
Visualization is the aesthetic aspect of the presentation and it’s a skill by itself. It is important as it reflects a lot of your character, professionalism and dedication. There is plenty of visualization platform to use such as Prezi, Zoho, Google Slides, Visme… The most commonly used is Microsoft PowerPoint.
It would be nice to invest a small amount of time in creating a template to use in your presentation. The template should be simple unless art is targeted. In PowerPoint under the view section- the slide master option, at least 3 pages should be prepared: the opening slide, the reference slide, and the body slide. Some templates can also be found free or payable via PowerPoint, Canva or others… The template preferably should follow the company/university pattern. For instance: If you work for British Airways, the pattern should be blue, white and red. If you are a student at the University of Manchester, the pattern should be purple. Some company have their own saved template that an employee can use.
This section is reserved for a regular slide in which you share your research/ findings/ method/ recommendations…
- Include a title: Each slide should have a title. It would be preferable if the title remains at the same location.
- Include a slide number: It would make it easier to refer to the slide in case of any question later.
- Respect white margins
- Include key ideas
- In case of a very important slide with many key insights, make a small one-line takeaway at the end.
- Write long paragraphs and read from them
- Include meaningless pictures
For analysts, scientists, strategists or business owners, their presentation would most likely include graphs. When graphs are included, they should follow the template pattern in terms of colour. The graph size should be perfect. Graphs should have titles and labels. In case of any major event (spike in the curve, unusual patterns… ), it would be good to visually highlight it.
Online Presentation Tools
After Covid 19 pandemic, some of the jobs became remote, even some of the interviews, classes or events. Therefore, improving our online presentation skills became inevitable. There is plenty of tools to improve the presentation slides and delivery. Some of them are paid and the others are free. In this section, 5 free tools will be provided to help enhance your presentation.
Enhance your design:
Design Ideas tool in PowerPoint: This tool will give suggestions to organise your slide to a more professional layout.
Ease your Presentation Experience using Google Extension:
1- Shared Slide Clicker: This is one of my favourite google extensions that can be used in the case of the Google Meet platform. This will give your audience the opportunity to have control over your presentation. In addition, it will allow you to control your slide from Google Meet and see your audience’s reaction at the same time.
2- Google Meet Grid View: This extension will allow you to see all your audience in a grid view.
3- Dualess: In case you don’t have a dual monitor. This tool will give you the opportunity to split your browser into 2 sections.
4- React: This add-on allows the host to mute and control the talk during the meeting. In addition, it gives a few emojis for the audience to react to during the presentation without speaking.
Presentation skills are one of the most in-demand skills. Three components make good presentation skills: Presence, Structure and Visualization. The speaker must perform with confidence and a clear voice. The content of the presentation should be delivered in a structured matter to ensure the understanding of the audience. Finally, visualization is the aesthetic aspect of the presentation and it should be professionally designed.
This article intended to focus more on the basics of the presentation rather than giving tailored add-ons and tools. If you are interested to learn more about this skill and you have a particular topic you want us to elaborate on, please reach out in the comment section below. In addition, if you have a favourite presentation tool and technique that you would like to share, we would love to read it in the comment.