Knowing how to deliver a polished, effective presentation is an important skill, says Jonas Altman, a partner at Social Fabric. His tips:
• Use body language. Make eye contact with people in the audience and try to move naturally.
• Think like a storyteller. Telling a story to illustrate your point will help you connect with the audience.
• Get technology that works. Using a clicker, for example, can bring you through your slideshow efficiently and without distractions.
• Offer a preview. Starting out with a brief outline of what you’ll be covering in your presentation gives people an idea of what to expect. Sum it up at the end, too.
• Incorporate images. Engaging images keeps the audience hooked and makes your points memorable.
• Sell it. If your topic could be covered with a memo or an email, do it that way. If it’s complicated or detailed enough to deserve a presentation, then make it the best presentation you can.
• Don’t fear silence. You can use silence to emphasize a point or make sure people are paying attention.
• Make them laugh. When appropriate, humor is a great way to connect with your audience and put yourself at ease. Use it carefully, however, as one bad joke and you’ve lost your audience.
• Rehearse—again and again. Practicing your presentation will help you make it as strong as possible. Keep working on it so you’ll nail it.
— Adapted from “How to give a presentation: 10 tips to move your audience,” Jonas Altman, The Guardian.