People become fearful when they are told to give a presentation. The fright of standing in from of a room full of businessmen or colleagues can be extremely scary to an someone who approaches the act of giving a presentation. The best thing to do is relax, and understand that your presentation is just a more structured way of telling someone or a group of people, the ideas that are in your head.
Try and take the time to sit back and brainstorm the main ideas of your presentation. What is it that you need to talk about? Are you presenting a new idea to possibly take the place of an old one? Are you trying to get financing from an investor or investors? These questions must be asked and answered by you in order to successful begin the process of building a wonderful and informative presentation.
Making an outline is a good place to start, when it comes to crafting your presentation. The outline will act as a blueprint to flushing out all of the important and vital information that you wish to convey. An outline also allows you to speed up your preparation time, as well as govern a more flexible presentation time. There are a few parts to the outline process, and below are some simple items to remember:
1. Decide what your main topic will be, and break that topic down into subtopics. You can view the associated Mind Map to give you a clue of how this is done. For instance, if you are going to give a presentation about starting a business, you would have main topic headings such as, “Benefits,” “Features,” and, “Competition.” Each of these three main topics will have subtopics like, “fast delivery,” “easy to use product,” and “Company XYZ.” Keep in mind that you can continue to make even more subtopics from the subtopics you’ve already created. Get as detailed as you can, but only fill in the most important information.
2. Structure your outline in a linear fashion, so that you create an order to your presentation. What information should be saved for last? You must organize your material so that it has the best pacing, and is the most dynamic within the shortest amount of time you can.
3. Set your timeframe in your mind for how long you want your presentation to be. Some presentations last for only 5 minutes, while others can run for over an hour. It really depends on the scope and magnitude of the material you plan to present, and the amount of time you have to present it. If you are given 30 minutes to give a presentation, try to sculpt it so that it wraps up in 20 minutes. You want to set your presentation time shorter than the actual given time, because, unconsciously, time slips away from us. In one moment we’re beginning the presentation, and in the next, your timer is going off, alerting you to the windup of your speech.
Many people prefer to give presentations in many different ways. Some people love to use Microsoft PowerPoint presentations, because they add a more visual appeal to the presentation. History, and sciences tells us that we learn better when they utilize as many of their senses as possible. The more visual aids you have, the better your presentation will turn out. If you don’t know how to use PowerPoint, there are other alternatives available. You can cut out pictures from magazines and past them on craft paper. You can print out pictures and images that best assist your presentation. Above all, make it not only visually appealing, but informative as well.
After you have drafted up a decent outline, it’s time to write out, on note cards, what you’ll say. Take the most important information from your outline, and place it on your note cards. After you’ve done this, arrange the note cards in a fashion that compliments the same order you arranged with your outline. If you decide to change the order, that’s fine, as long as if flows in a decent manner.
Once you have your entire note cards set up, flip through them, reading them out loud. What you are trying to do is create a natural flow to your speech. If you notice that you can’t say what is written very smoothly, edit the text on the note card so that it’s the most comfortable for you. Since it’s best to give yourself at least a week before you give a presentation, you should have a decent amount of days to go over your note cards somewhere around three times a day, everyday until presentation time.
Mirror, Mirror on the wall…
Once you have gotten into the groove of delivery; speaking your note cards, begin to stand in front of a mirror and recite them. Notice your facial gestures. Are you smiling enough? Even if your presentation doesn’t require smiling, you want to make sure you are control of those face muscles nonetheless. Many people look confused and anxious while they give presentations, or completely lethargic. If you can see your body movements, try and pay close attention to them as well. You want to seem relaxed, in control, and confident.
Incorporate as Much as You Can
Remember your visual aids? Well, it’s now time to incorporate them into your presentation. If you have any physical items that relate to your presentation, by all means, include them. For instance, using the business presentation for an example, you could show the product that’s being sold, and the additions they’ve added or something similar. The viewers of your presentation are concerned with understanding your mind, as well as your vision. The best way to do this is to take as much of your vision from your head and bring it into fruition.
Preparation, Practice, Research
Once all of these tips are applied to the preparation of giving your presentation, things will turn out wonderful. Keep in mind that the more practice, preparation, and research you put into your presentation, the better it will turn out.