PRESENTATION SKILLS SUMMARY
- What size is the audience?
- Who are they and what do they know about your topic?
- Why are you talking to them? What do you want to achieve?
- What does the audience want? Why are they coming to hear you?
- Think about how you can interact with the audience. Try and introduce at least one type of audience interaction, for example polls, questions, demonstration, role play, group work, discussion.
- Keep calm and don't take interruptions personally. Deal with the situation politely if you are being put off or if other audience members are being disturbed.
- Interruptions can be people coming and going from the room, phones ringing, people talking.
- Introduction: establish knowledge and expertise, set out your aims.
- Body: structure can be either chronological, by subject, geographical, define the problem and propose solutions or compare and contrast.
- Conclusion: summarise main points and link back to original aims.
- Next review your signposts and transitions. Do you make it clear to your audience where they are in the talk? Do you use suitable language?
You can use slides and other items to highlight particular points within your message. However, keep it simple:
- Use a consistent look and feel throughout. For example use plain white with black text or a black background with white text.
- Limit your use of text.
Supporting items on slides include animations, diagrams and charts, tables, photographs and illustrations. Finding images can be time consuming but worthwhile. Give your audience enough time to absorb and understand what you are showing them.
The main aim is to look natural and relaxed:
- Posture: always stand, do not sit down. Try not to slouch and keep your hands out of your pockets.
- Eye Contact: this establishes a connection with your audience.
- Facial Expressions: allow you to convey your emotions
- Gestures: you can use movement to support something you are saying. A gesture can be a movement of your head, shoulders, hands or arms.
When delivering your talk, remember:
- don't hurry
- look friendly
- be enthusiastic
- keep to your structure
- give time on visuals
- use your notes
- maintain eye contact
- signpost throughout
- modulate your voice
- remain polite when dealing with difficult questions