Writing a good presentation is all about focus. It’s far too easy to get up, start talking and forget the very reasons you are there in the first place.
So to make sure you get over all the points you have to make, there are a few key areas you have to think of.
. Knowing who you are targeting is perhaps the most important element of any presentation. For the whole style and approach of your presentation can change depending on who they are. For instance, if you are briefing a team working on a project, they’ll want to know everything from the timescales to budgets. However, if you’re talking to the Managing Director about project outcomes, he’ll be far more interested on the effect it will have on shareholders.
You’ve been asked to present for a reason and so it makes sense to know why. If you are an expert in your field, expect to be asked lots of questions relating to your specialist subject. Will there be certain areas which are bound to come up? If so, you could prepare a few answers in advance. Having a few visual slides to hand will also help you illustrate your points.
Formal or informal? Slides or handouts? There are lots of ways to manipulate the feel of any presentation. If you know your audience, you should have a good idea of what is most appropriate to use. Always try to think about it from the audience’s point of view. what do they think they will get from the presentation and what information is vital? Try to back up statements with the advantages and benefits which it will bring to the audience. The last thing you want is to lose their interest – make them the focus at all times and they will want to listen.
After figuring out the best way forward, remember to practice your presentation beforehand. Too many people wait until the very last minute to figure out how equipment works or even print off their handouts.
Familiarity with the content and the area where you are speaking will also instil you with confidence in your presentation – a must when you are selling it to others!
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