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Top Ten Things You Should Know About Great Presentation Tips

There is an old adage that goes, "Never freight a ton of words to express a spoon of thought."  This is important to remember when you have to give a presentation.  Below you will find some quick tips on how to make your presentation a success and avoid the dreaded "deer in the headlights" audience.

1. Know the purpose of the presentation.  Define whether your purpose is to persuade, inform or educate.

2. Know your audience.  Design your presentation to meet the needs of the audience.  Ask yourself, "What will benefit them the most?"  AND keep the ego in check when presenting.

3. Know your presentation.  Practice your presentation several times so that during the actual presentation, you are using your own words and not reading the slides.

4. Being nervous or scared is not a bad thing.  It is merely a form of excitement.  Did Vince Lombardi ever tell his team to be calm before a game?  Take a deep, slow breath if you find yourself nervous or in a hurry.  Channel the adrenaline into enthusiasm.  Give yourself help by writing "relax" or "slow down" on your notes.

5. Give special emphasis to the first and last five minutes.  Have a plan to grab their attention and finish strong.  Your introduction should tell them what you are going to tell them.  Your conclusion should summarize what you told them and inspire them to action.

6. Plan to involve your audience.  Ask the group at least one question during your presentation - keep them involved.  The more you engage them, the more they will retain.

7. Be enthusiastic and connect with your audience.  Enthusiasm is contagious, even if the topic isn't that interesting.  Hitting emotional buttons creates more impact than pure data.  Use stories, analogies and metaphors to support your key points.

8. Watch your body language.  Do not pace or cross your arms, be relaxed and casual.  Face the audience and not the screen when talking.  Use eye contact to keep interest by looking at someone and holding their eyes for a few seconds and then move to the next person.

9. Anticipate questions and prepare probable answers.  You could lose credibility quickly if they stump you.  If you don't know the answer, open the question to the group or say "I don't know" and tell them you will get back to them.

10. Finish on time or early.  Rule of thumb: Plan, prepare and practice for 75% of the allotted time.  If you end early, no one complains.  If you involve the audience, plan on talking 50% of the time and 25% for interactive facilitated sessions.

SH&A can deliver a two day Persuasive Presentations course onsite.  For more information, please Contact us or call 847-564-2840. 

© 2007 St. Aubin Haggerty & Associates, Inc.  

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