Five Presentation Delivery Tips

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At every workshop, we address a different perspective on designing and delivery presentations. Here are some of the delivery tips:

  1. Plan for your first 20 seconds. Almost every presenter is nervous when he/she starts. Veteran speakers and entertainers admit that once they get passed the first 20 seconds or so, then they begin feeling comfortable. Why? Because before the presentation starts, you’re focused on yourself. Once you’re connecting with the audience, then the focus shifts to making sure the audience is getting your message, and dissipates the nervousness.

    To get through those first few seconds:

    • Plan exactly what you’re going to say for the first 30+ seconds before you start;
    • Use the comment to relate with the audience – something that connects you and them to why you’re both having this “conversation”;
    • Immediately make eye contact with some members of the audience to further build the relationship.

    Audience-driven presentations reduce public speaking anxieties by shifting the focus from cues of your nervousness to meeting their needs. By immediately focusing on the audience, you get over anxieties quicker.

  2. Don’t get long-winded. Some people have a tendency to go on-and-on-and-on; others generally keep comments conversational, but from time-to-time slip. Here’s a tip to avoid doing so: pay attention to when you run out of air and gasp for breath. That’s the sign that the sentence has gotten too long! If that happens, immediately bring the sentence to an end and stop talking. If you catch yourself doing this a few times and stop, it will make a world of difference. A recent client went from “goat†to “hero†at a national event by using this simple method.
  3. Leader Presence is key to influencing audiences. Presentations give people the information they need to make decisions. The decision is a function of the logic and emotional appeal of the argument. The more compelling the case and the more persuasive the delivery, the greater the impact. However, buy-in usually requires one additional element: the speaker’s Leader Presence. This includes the ability to project competence, confidence and empathy, and generate trust in the audience. People “buy†products, services and ideas, not just from companies, but also from the person delivering the presentation. So, it’s important for the presenter to be authentic when making the presentation, because that increases the speaker’s power and generates trust with the audience. On the other hand, being uncomfortable with the presentation, robs the presenter of the power.
  4. Make it engaging. An overload of facts and figures is likely to overwhelm the audience. Adding good design and powerful images and charts, increases the willingness to follow the slides. But to get truly engaging, shift the audience’s mind from “taking in†material, to actively “processing†it. Use questions, rhetorical and actual to get the audience “thinking about the materialâ€. Also appropriate humor increases engagement as the audience “reflects†about the material.
  5. Conclude with communicable take-away points. Most listeners don’t immediately make a decision at the end of a presentation. They will think about what they heard and share what they remember with their advisory group before deciding, Therefore, it is important to conclude with about five key take-away points which are memorable and easy to share with others. If you conclude without a concise conclusion that easily leads to action, you won’t get the deal!