24 October 2018

5 tips on nailing your next presentation

For many, the idea of public speaking is terrifying.  In fact, in a recent study 75% of individuals suffer from a fear of public speaking. It’s of course no surprise, this is the number one most common form of social anxiety. Having the ability to present well is an important life skill and will help you in any profession. Learning the art of presenting will really help your confidence in a variety of situations such as job interviews, hitting a target or influencing any business decisions.

Whether you are an experienced presenter or a beginner, we have put together a list of five tips to help you nail your next presentation.

Connect with your audience

“The key part of the TED format is that we have humans connecting to humans in a direct and almost vulnerable way. You’re on stage naked, so to speak. The talks that work best are the ones where people can really sense that humanity. The emotions, dreams, imagination. – Chris Anderson, curator of TEDTALKS

According to Chris Anderson, curator of the TED conference, the most successful TED talks are delivered by speakers who have a passion for their subject matter. They therefore deliver their talks with strong emotion and imagination. It links to being sincere whilst presenting to an audience. If they sense any form of insincerity, you will automatically lose them. When you feel passionate about the topic, your sincerity will show through your voice.

Of course, make sure you have great content and imagery but it all comes down to if you have faith in the product or subject matter. So, don’t hold back, let your confidence shine through and let your passion for your topic come out for all to see. What separates average presenters from some of the best in the world, like Steve Jobs for example, is their ability to connect with an audience in a direct, honest and exciting way.

Tell a story

Founder & CEO of Get Storied states, “People don’t really buy a product, service, or idea. They buy the story that’s attached to it.” Your story should focus on the outcome that the audience needs.”
Great presenters incorporate a story into their presentation to captivate the attention of the audience. Remember, presentations, like stories, aim to inform, inspire, and persuade. However, you must remember this isn’t any old story you are telling, this story will illustrate the key points that you are discussing. By crafting together, a beginning, middle and end to your presentation this provides structure, making it easier to break down and remember.

Short and sweet

When you are planning a presentation, think about the one main question you want to get across-what is the key message (or messages) that my audience will take away from this?

People in general usually have a pretty short attention span when it comes to presentations, so you need to keep the audience hooked. In your presentation, you should be able to communicate the key message very briefly. Think of it as a 30 second elevator pitch to spark their attention and keep the message focused.

The 10/20/30 Rule of PowerPoint

We can’t take credit for the next tip. This rule was suggested back in 2005 by Guy Kawasaki, the chief evangelist of Canva, an online graphic design tool. Guy believes the most effective PowerPoint presentations should contain no more than 10 slides, last no longer than 20 minutes, and the font should be no smaller than 30 points.

All three tips are important. Firstly, a good slideshow presentation should be irrelevant without the speaker and therefore should contain less rather than more information. By sticking to 20 minutes of speaking it means you can keep you attendees’ attention. Check out Sir Ken Robinson’s TED Talk on how schools are killing creativity, as he manages to present an informative, funny and memorable 20 minute talk. Lastly, sticking to a font no smaller than 30 points stops you from overcrowding a PowerPoint slide with too much information.

“Accept your fear rather than trying to fight it. Getting yourself worked up by wondering if people will notice your nervousness will only intensify your anxiety. Remember, those jitters aren’t all bad–harness that nervous energy and transform it into positive enthusiasm and you’ll be golden” Larry Kim CEO of MobileMonkey, Inc

It is easier said than done to stay relaxed and be yourself when you are standing in front of an audience. However, start by concentrating on your breathing, slow down and make sure you stay calm. Make sure to continue to pause throughout your presentation and breath.

You need to develop a way to take the focus off your nerves and put that energy to positive use. If you are able to control as much of the uncertainty as you can, you will increase your confidence in your ability to deliver an excellent presentation. For more techniques to calm your fear of public speaking, Dr Gary Genard has created the Genard Method. This is a unique system of public speaking training based on theatre techniques, which can be found in his book ‘Fearless Speaking’

So, for your next presentation, be well practiced and prepared, know your topic and learn to breath- you may just surprise yourself.

Put our tips into practice

We know how hard it is to stand up in front of a crowd and present, we have all been in the same situation. However, we hope our five tips on nailing your next presentation will help you continue to improve your technique to become a presentation pro.

If you’re on the hunt for the ideal location to host your next presentation, we have 95 meeting rooms across the UK available to book. With a range of suitable venues to match a variety of occasions, we have rooms of all sizes from Scotland to The Midlands, from Brighton to Barnsley. So, if you’re looking for a meeting room to put these presentation tips into practice, check out our new online meeting room booker to find the right venue for you.




Grace Coleman

D2 Interactive