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HOW TO STEP UP YOUR PRESENTATION GAME

Are you the fraidy-cat who feels public speaking is worse than the devil himself? Do you get jittery anytime you are asked to deliver a presentation because you are scared you will bore the hades out of your listeners?

While it is not a requirement for every role, at some point, you will likely be asked to showcase your ideas, present new products or outline the process of completing a project using a PowerPoint presentation and without a good presentation, your efforts will be wasted. Even though you come up with great concepts that have good prospects to save or make the company a lot of money, they may never get past the presentation stage if your pitching game is weak. A good presentation demonstrates your design skills, creativity and sense of personal style.

So how do you deliver an excellent presentation?

Imagine you are the one sitting down to listen to someone else do a presentation, what will capture your attention? What will stimulate your imagination? What will keep you glued to the speaker? A well-crafted presentation that pleases your insatiable desire for variety right?

Now let’s show you how you can make your listeners feel exactly the same way and make your presentation on fleek:

Prepare and practice

Organize the contents of your presentation well and familiarise yourself with the words and phrases in it. When you are familiar with your material, you will be able to convince your audience that you know what you are talking about. Do more than just reading your material to yourself, stand up and deliver your presentation to the walls of your room or if you are comfortable with it, practice with a close friend or family. Get used to hearing your own voice filling the room. Play around with different tones and see how well you can hear your own voice.

Start your presentation with a bang

The line “first impression counts” also applies here. The first 30 seconds of a presentation is very crucial as this is the time your audience forms an impression about you. Your opening lines will determine if your audience will lean in and lend an ear to your message or scout for their phones. Start off your presentation with a story, questions or jokes related to the topic of discussion, then gradually build into the subject, create suspense and intrigue, and unleash your audience’s curiosity. Remember to bring in some humour at different points to relieve tension and create rapport with your audience. But be wary not to go overboard, a bad joke can defeat the whole purpose.

Position yourself well

Appear confident at all times. However, this doesn’t mean you should be all stiff and formal. Maintain a calm and relaxed demeanour. Use gestures, eye contact, body language to communicate with your audience.

To make your presentation simple, descriptive and interesting:-

Use bold but not too stylish fonts

In your quest to make your presentation stylish do not overdo it. Don’t use very plain and boring font styles. Use fonts that are pleasing to the eyes but not too busy. Keep it bold for visibility and be consistent with style.

Replace text with images

Cut down on the excessive use of texts to avoid boredom. Use professional images to present your ideas in engaging, fun and creative slide forms. Do not overuse dramatic images as this could ruin your presentation with a bad visual experience. The images you use must stir the interest of your audience and make them sit up curiously to listen to your explanations.

Employ colourful backgrounds

The colour of your slide backgrounds must be in tandem with the colour of images and font colours used. It must not distract or overshadow the main text fonts or images but rather enhance them to stand out.

Use the most appropriate background size

If your presentation will be projected on a wide display then the default PPT background size will not cut it. It will appear too small making it less visible to your audience. Resize your background size to a custom size that can fit a wider display screen when projected such that the presentation is legible from anywhere in the room.

Keep it short and simple (KISS)

Keep your slides short and simple. Do not overload them with bullets points. Slides are to serve as a presentation aid, not a notebook or seminar paper for you to dump all your data on. It is recommended to use one story per slide, i.e., one idea per slide. See this post by Readwritethink on how to make PowerPoint slides

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