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10 tips on how to give a presentation like a pro
Giving a project presentation in front of an audience is a nightmare for you? Turn your nightmare into a tool for success. People say practice makes perfect, but why not speed up the process? Gain confidence and professionalism with our 10 presentation tips.
You have an important project to present at university. Yet the fear of not doing well or making mistakes worries you. This is understandable for anyone lacking experience. Do you want to be like a pro who presents their topics with such ease that they inspire you and make the topic super interesting? In this article, we'll provide useful tips on how to deliver a professional presentation that will impress your audience of students and professors.
10 tips for a successful presentation
Speakers, lecturers and anyone who gives presentations on a regular basis and in a professional manner usually have a long track record behind them. But if you don’t have the time to wait for the experience to do its work, just follow these tips that every professional uses.
1. Know your presentation topic in detail
First of all, a thorough study of the project topic should be done. After hours or days spent researching, make sure you understand the project topic well. It's paramount to your presentation that you know what you're talking about, otherwise it will affect your confidence and lead to questions you may not know the answer to. You can then organize what information to include and how to present it.
2. Organize your speech
Organizing your presentation starts with a plan of the information you want to present to your audience. It’s best to write it in a separate file, such as a Word file, instead of just dropping all the information on the slides in PowerPoint or the relevant program where you will present your project. That allows you to gather all the information on a few pages to better grasp your content in a more organized way. Then you can plan on what kind of visual content to include in your presentation, such as videos, graphics, pictures and illustrations.
3. Be confident and positive
The confident person always stands out over the insecure person even if they provide the same information. When we speak to someone, our goal is to get them to listen and convince them of what we say. To arouse the audience's interest and make it believe you, you must show confidence, otherwise they begin to doubt your claims. Aside from confidence, the presenter should not be gloomy, sour, or sullen, as this immediately repels the audience, even if you speak confidently. Stay positive and imagine how excited you are to share your knowledge with your audience.
4. Mind your body posture
Non-verbal communication and body language are just as important as what you say. The message your body sends through posture, gestures, and eye contact is more powerful and effective than verbal communication. When people meet someone for the first time, their first impression is formed by their appearance. That is an automatic and unconscious process. When you stand in front of an audience and want to appear confident, despite your initial embarrassment and stiffness, the first thing you should pay attention to is your body posture. Your walking posture must be straight with your head up, rather than looking down with your head and shoulders slumped. Imagine being given a crown that must not fall off your head. During the presentation, maintain this posture.
5. Make proper use of gestures
The other aspect you should be aware of is your gestures. First, slow down your movements, which will help reduce shaking and calm you down. If you are sitting, do not tap your foot repeatedly, play with your pencil, or snap your fingers nervously. These behaviors show that you are nervous and insecure, which only irritates the audience and makes them frown skeptically. Also, are you unsure whether to sit or stand during the presentation? The better option is to stand up or walk while using appropriate hand gestures to interact with the audience or point to something on the slide.
6. Keep eye contact
In addition to body posture and gestures, you should strive to establish eye contact with the audience. To win over the audience, you should not be afraid to look people in the eyes, but do not stare at them. When you establish eye contact with the listeners, you demonstrate confidence in what you are saying and make the topic interesting.
7. Get your eyes off the text
Another important rule is to not constantly look at your text. Do not read! It does not make a good impression and also lowers your level of performance. A person who doesn't take his or her eyes off the text seems to be unfamiliar with it and might make the impression of wanting to get the presentation over with as quickly as possible. So, prepare your material in advance and interact with your audience during your presentation. Doing so will not only make you look professional, but it will also lower formal barriers to the audience.
8. Practice your presentation
To learn your text and make the discussed tips come naturally to you, you should rehearse your presentation multiple times until you feel confident enough. A good practice is talking in front of a mirror. Looking in the mirror as you speak allows you to practice speaking in front of an audience. Also, it helps your concentration and reduces the possibility of “freezing” after looking someone in the eyes.
Another good practice is speaking in front of friends or family members, because they are unfamiliar with the material, must be persuaded, and must be kept interested until the end. Most presentations have a limited amount of time, so take note of your time when you present your project to friends or family. By doing so you will get a sense of your project's presentation time and learn not to exceed it.
9. Speak effectively
The golden rule of presenting is to speak clearly and precisely. Be sure to formulate clear and concise sentences as this will demonstrate professionalism and show excellent communication skills. Your tone of voice also plays a vital role in your presentation. To reduce the possibility of speaking in a high-pitched voice due to nervousness, take deep and slow breaths to calm your nervous system. The volume of your voice should be loud enough so that the people in the back rows can hear you clearly without having to strain their ears.
10. Use graphics, illustrations and humor
Include pictures, graphics, and a sense of humor, appropriate to the topic, here and there to strengthen the impact of your presentation and keep the audience's attention and interest. Visual materials make the subject easier to grasp and comprehend. Plus, cracking a joke every now and then will break the ice and make you more appealing to the audience. Use these methods, and you will completely captivate your audience.
Presentations boost your confidence and extend your communication skills
You tremble just thinking about having to prepare a project to present to an audience? With the proper methods, practice, and psychological preparation, you'll find that speaking in front of others isn't so frightening. In fact, it can boost your confidence and help you expand your communication skills, which might be a huge advantage for your future career.