If you make new business pitches, present ideas to clients, or even run your own internal staff meetings, then you already recognize the importance of superior presentation skills.
Anyone, even the most seasoned veteran, can benefit from reviewing the basics. So we've outlined some of the most critical elements to giving an effective presentation.
Tip #1 - Start with the End in Mind
Present your summary, or your conclusions, FIRST. You need to clearly point out what your audience needs to know, then use your presentation to fill in the details and support your arguments.
Tip #2 - Pace yourself, don't go too fast, or too slow.
If you're spending minutes on the same page in your report, or the same Power Point frame, you might try spreading your information over a few more steps to keep your audience's attention and curiosity level high.
Tip #3 - Defer Questions
The job of keeping the audience interested rests on you. If questions will distract your group from your content, lay down the rule that you'll address questions later.
Tip #4 - To Read the Room, Focus on a Few
If you're presenting to a large crowd, pay attention to the body language and interest levels of a few people throughout your talk. It gives pretty honest feedback as to how you're doing.
Tip #5 - Personalize Your Talk
It's always better to speak to an audience using the word "you" rather than "he", "she", or "audience members", etc.
Tip #6 - Provide a "Leave-Behind"
If you gave your talk to a client, a large group, or someone outside of your department, chances are they won't have the same access to information you do. If they now need to resell your arguments to someone else, you want to give them the tools to do so.