How do you get your boss and your teammates to listen to your idea? The answer lies in your presentation; how well are you able to convince your audience to give a thought to your proposal. A presentation that is informative and inspiring, keeping them all engaged. Sometimes having a great idea or an extraordinary proposition is not enough, you need to make other people believe in your plan too. Avoid these common mistakes and you can avoid making your presentation dull, boring and confusing.
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- The first thing while preparing your Powerpoint presentation is to use appropriate content and images. Avoid long texts and irrelevant images or graphs. You can present your text in the form of bullet points and if you have some numerical data to share, you can use graphs. Graphs bring out a color to the presentation and are also simpler to understand. Try to keep the language simple; your audience will not be impressed unless they understand what you are sharing with them. Try to put yourself in people’s shoes, to get a clearer idea about their needs and motivations. You can ask them some questions when you greet them to know their level of understanding on the topic you are about to talk about.
- Avoid being too verbose. You need to keep your presentation to the point. If you take too much time to get to the main issue, you may lose the attention of your viewers.
- Don’t make your presentation too fancy. Using embellishing colours, unnecessary animations, artsy fonts which are difficult to understand, and flashy graphics can distract your audience.
- For a 30 minute presentation, don’t have more than 10 main slides. Don’t cram up too much text in one single slide or just because you have a lot of content, don’t spread in across many slides.
- Make sure you work well on your speaking. If you tend to get nervous while presenting, practice centering and deep-breathing exercises to control yours nerves from rushing you.
- Your body-language and eye contact should have dynamism. Instead of standing behind the podium and simply reading out from your notes, use gestures and move around the whole stage to display your excitement and enthusiasm for your idea or subject. Also make sure you look at all your audience when you are talking. Looking into your notes, at the ceiling, outside the window or on floor is too distracting, and the audience loses their patience to pay attention. Eye contact establishes an immediate personal connection and keeps your audience engaged.
- A day before or even an hour before your presentation, you can check with all the connections- the mike, the projector, or the wires connecting to your laptop. Not familiarizing with venue and equipment beforehand is unprofessionalism. Often these sorts of problems are beyond your control, so you should always have a Plan B.
- After you end your presentation, make sure you ask you audience questions to test their understanding. Also give them a chance to clear their doubts.
- The last thing you need to keep in mind is careful preparedness. You can’t just sit a night before, make your presentation and expect it go all well the next day- those usually turn out to messed up and sloppy, degrading your image among your bosses and colleagues. Proper preparation prevents poor performance.
People don’t really want to sit through those business presentations, really. Want to do well? Start from that position on the seat in the audience.