Winning Strategy for a Winning Presentation
Whether you are presenting your vision to your organization’s board of directors or to new investors, having a compelling presentation can be a game-changer.
According to a survey by the University of Florida, about 72-75% of the population experience fear of public speaking. Knowing this should put you at ease that you are not the only one having pre-presentation jitters. Though public speaking is essential to any presentation, there are several other factors that are crucial for a winning presentation.
In this article, we will explore those significant elements and how you can improve them, with the aim of helping you prepare convincing presentations to present your ideas and grow your business.
Our presentation skills, such as assembling, formatting, and delivering, are essential to our professional lives. After all, if you have a fantastic idea but can’t convince the audience, it’s a waste of an idea. The good news is that, like any other skill, presentation skills can be learned and excelled. Whether you are presenting your vision to your organization’s board of directors or to new investors, having a compelling presentation can be a game-changer.
In a nutshell, remember the three P’s next time you are getting ready for a presentation: Purpose, Preparation, and Presentation. Let’s explore these elements in depth to understand the strategies we can employ to upgrade our presentations.
Staying focused on the purpose of your presentation can keep you from going off track. Compiling and delivering an effective and high-quality presentation can be an overwhelming process. However, having the clarity of your motives directs efforts in the right direction for the success of your presentation.
Focus on the Key Points
Keep your presentation simple and easy to comprehend. You would want a natural flow of the information instead of a complicated one. Nobody likes to waste time in a presentation they don’t understand or learn anything from.
You might be tempted to gloss over and add a profusion of content to your presentation to make it look exciting, but hold that thought and keep it simple and to the point.
Ask yourself what is the purpose of your presentation?
What message are you aiming to get across?
What should be the takeaways for the audience?
The preparation element helps with overcoming fears and obtaining confidence in your purpose. The preparation phase consists of brainstorming, researching, compiling the initial draft, and reflecting and rethinking your subject objectives and the facts.
Do Your Research
Research is the most crucial element of preparation. Make sure to dedicate enough time to research the facts and dissect the data that you plan to present during your presentation. Cross-check your references. After all, you don’t want to look like a fool in front of your audience.
Brainstorm with the Initial Draft
If you are at this stage of compiling your presentation, chances are that you have already brainstormed the idea with your team before conducting the research. However, to refine your initial draft, take some time to review it with your team, or if you are working by yourself, check the draft a few times to assess the flow and double-check errors in the draft to ensure that there are no mistakes.
Invest Time in Rehearsal
Rehearse your presentation enough times before delivering it so that it comes naturally to you. This will help you overcome your public speaking fear and familiarize yourself with the presentation content. Watch relevant online content such as Ted Talks and similar presentation videos to polish your skills.
Here are a few tips that you can use while rehearsing to make your rehearsal more effective:
Memorize the presentation
Work on your stage presence
Rehearse how you would talk to your audience
Present to colleagues and friends and ask them to throw in some valid questions
Make a video of yourself during the rehearsal phase and review it to see how to improve your delivery
During the rehearsal phase, remember to stick to the timeline you have been allocated to present, including a Q&A section for engagement and feedback from your audience. Sometimes, people tend to take longer than the allotted time slots, but it’s not professional, especially if it’s a formal presentation.
The presentation part includes the visual format of the presentation and the delivery skills. Both are correlated components that depend on one another to make a winning presentation and play a vital role in the success of a presentation.
Guy Kawasaki, a prominent venture capitalist and one of the original marketing specialists for Apple, said that the best slideshow presentations are less than 10 slides, last at most 20 minutes, and use a font size of 30.
The Sublime Visuals
Aesthetics play a vital role in capturing attention. Just as your personal appearance matters a lot, remember that the appearance of your presentation is the first impression your audience will get. Imagine that you have a spot-on presentation prepared and you are confident enough to deliver it superbly, but when it comes to the visuals, you used an utterly awful font or forgot to put in the relevant images, or the opposite; you put in too many images. Your audience will immediately lose interest.
Therefore, picking the right font, around 30 pt font size, is essential. Use engaging, relevant images that your audience can relate to. Use props to illustrate your point if suitable.
Be mindful of design techniques:
Don’t put blocks of text on a single slide
Use a minimalistic background instead of a busy one
Don’t read everything off the slide
Maintain a consistent font style and size
Flow to Follow
Design the delivery of your presentation in a natural flow. Avoid jumping from one point to another abruptly. There should be linkages between the message and the conclusion.
Share (relevant) stories to create an authentic humanized experience. This will increase your reliability and will make the audience more comfortable and connected to you. If applicable, engage with your audience by including short exercises and a Q&A section.
If you experience stage fright or jitters, just take a deep breath and remind yourself that this is your moment to shine. You have worked hard to get to this point, and you have got this.
If you are a HerMeNow participant or alumni, book your free coaching session now through the HerMeNow website https://www.hermenow.com/wellness.