Effective Presentations Are the Key to Success

Posted on Sep 17 2012 - 7:31am by Peter Millikin

You can be selling the most innovative and interesting product in the world, but if your presentation is weak your audience will be turned off. Follow these five tips for an effective presentation that your audience will remember.

The rule of three

First of all, you must remember that our brains are wired to remember three things at a time. So forget the thirty important things you want to tell your audience, and focus on the three essential items that must be presented. This may be hard to swallow when you have pages and pages of notes and research material to go through. However, if you read ten pages of research verbatim to your audience, they will fall asleep, guaranteed.

Start with an icebreaker

You are nervous because you are giving a presentation, and your audience is nervous that your presentation is going to be long and boring. Break the ice by telling them something funny, poking fun at yourself or assuring them in a humorous way that you will not bore them to death. Do not tell an inappropriate joke, though. Keep it relevant to the presentation.

Be accessible

If you have to speak at a conference then don’t stand behind the podium and read from your notes. You should know what you are going to say without reading from a page. Step out from the podium, use hand gestures and engage your audience. Ask questions, and truly listen to the answers. Show your audience that they are the most important people in the room.

Display visuals, but not too many

Most people are visual by nature. They learn better and retain more if they can look at something, rather than just hear about it. So be prepared with pictures, tables, charts and videos. Be careful, however, that you do not overwhelm them with too many visuals. If you are selling office chairs, for example, it is fine to show examples of several chairs. Do not show a diagram of how the manufacturer has assembled the chair.

Practice and then practice some more

Ask a family member or friend to watch your presentation. Better yet, ask several people to watch you, and listen to the ideas and pointers they give you. The more you practice, the better you will become. You can even have someone video you so you can critique yourself.

Follow these tips, and instead of boring your audience to tears, you will have delivered an effective presentation that leaves a positive impression in their minds.

Have you ever wanted to fall asleep during someone else’s presentation? Why do you think that was?

Read about the Author

Peter has received many accreditation's including many from the Times Online. As founder of You Could Save (2005) and What Stationers (2007) Peter regularly helps consumers and national organisation ‘save money’. He believes that the only successful way to bring people together online is to provide an open marketplace where people can all work together in a friendly, unbiased environment.

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