1. Start with a Boom: A good presentation needs to begin by engaging your audience. You must earn the right to your audience’s attention. Whether you begin with a story, a compelling picture, or interesting video, it is imperative to begin your presentation on the right foot. But make sure your attention grabber is related to your presentation topic and ties it all together well.
2. Use A Structured Layout: The presentation needs to flow in a logical direction and reflect a strategic layout. When assembling your presentation, start with a basic outline. Once you have laid out your main talking points, start adding details to the slides.
After you deliver your attention grabber, reveal your presentation outline to your audience. During the presentation, insert reminders of where you’ve been and what you have left to cover. As you wrap up the presentation, review your main points one more time before your conclusion or call to action.
3. Sexy Slides: Your slides need to be informative yet appealing to the eye. Add applicable pictures and charts to make your boring and wordy slides sexier. Use resources like iStockPhoto or Flickr collective commons to find pictures that are relevant to your topic.
4. Know Your Audience, and If You Don’t Know, Ask: Don’t assume you are in a room full of experts unless you know you are. Know the level of knowledge your audience possesses on your subject and deliver jargon accordingly. If you’re not sure about your audience’s background, ask. Take the time to explain terms that your audience may not understand. Also, before every presentation, modify the information for each specific audience.
5. Don’t Drag On: It is important to make your point adequately, but don’t drag on with the unnecessary, boring details. Don’t use 5 slides when you can use 2.
6. Fight the Mid-Presentation Slump: If your presentation is longer than 10 minutes, your audience will naturally lose focus unless you work to keep them engaged. Fight the mid-presentation slump by throwing in another attention grabber such as a related story or video, and reminding the audience of what you have left to discuss.
7. Practice, Practice, Practice: Before you give a presentation, you should have practiced by yourself several times and with someone who knows nothing about your topic, preferably your brutally honest friend or coworker.
8. Focus on the How: You will be the center of attention. Studies prove that the key to establishing credibility and trust has more to do with how you deliver your presentation than what you are saying. Dress appropriately, speak with confidence; vary your tone, pitch, and pace to emphasize your points. Be confident, trustworthy, and friendly. You can fine-tune your delivery.
9. Error Free: Have several co-workers review the presentation for grammar, spelling, and informational errors. It is embarrassing to be mid-presentation and realize you mistyped your company name in one slide.
10. Review and Revise: Are there certain questions you get asked after every presentation? Add a slide on the topic and make it a talking point. A presentation is never finished; it is a fluid work in progress that can always be improved.