- Observe other presenters. Use mannerisms and slide designs that you like. Avoid doing things you don’t like.
- The most successful presentations have a goal and a theme.
- Prepare your talk with a target audience in mind.
- Make sure your vocabulary level and speaking speed matches that audience.
- Establish a halfway point for your talk so you can check how you are managing your time.
- Be prepared to shorten your talk due to circumstances beyond your control.
- Finishing early is better than finishing late. Don’t hold the audience hostage.
- Prezi is awesome, once. Do you need to use tricks to keep the audience’s attention?
- Demo high-stakes presentation in low-stakes environments.
- Arrive early to familiarize yourself with the venue and equipment and greet early arriving audience members.
- Tell the audience if you want them to hold their questions until the end or mute their phones.
- Make sure your speaking volume and font sizes are suitable for audience members in the back of the room.
- Control your breathing and try to slow down your speaking speed at the start of your talk.
- Give a complete introduction (greeting, introduce yourself, announce your topic, and hook the audience).
- You should hook the audience at the beginning. Give them a selfish reason to listen.
- Don’t predict or draw attention to your mistakes.
- You can choose to enjoy public speaking or dread it (like riding a roller coaster).
- Your confidence level rises when you have something valuable to give the audience.
- The audience wants you to succeed. What are you afraid of?
- Find friendly faces in the audience.
- Have a copy of your materials online and on a USB in addition to printed copies.
- Don’t let your handheld microphone drop or turn away from a podium microphone.
- Don’t trust technology. Test the tech but have a Plan B.
- Buy your own PPT remote control.
- Know what the F5 key does.
- Watch the audience watching you. Make sure they understand you and respond to their non-verbal cues.
- Rotate your eye contact around different areas of the audience and try to build a connection with as many of the attendees as possible.
- Try not to turn your back to the audience.
- Energy/enthusiasm can compensate for dry content.
- Use your nervous energy to increase your enthusiasm.
- Pause confidently Utilize “thoughtful pauses”.
- Always move with a purpose. Don’t let your movements distract the audience.
- Don’t stand in the projector light.
- Stay flexible. No one knows what you are planning to say.
- Make sure your cover slide includes your presentation title, your name, and your affiliation. Your job title can also be added if it improves your credibility.
- Slides show and the presenter tells. Utilize your visuals effectively.
- Let your slides guide you through the organization of your content so you can focus on telling your story.
- Use clear signposts. Let the audience know when you are moving to a new section.
- Animate busy slides. The visuals should match your story as you are telling it.
- Slides are free. You don’t have to put too much info on one slide.
- Having too many words on a slide leads to reading the slide.
- One typo can ruin your credibility.
- Avoid writing text over photos/colorful backgrounds.
- Don’t play music or videos and try to talk over them.
- Don’t skip slides, even if you are running low on time. Summarize their key points briefly.
- Handouts are not the same as slides. Handouts should be text-heavy, slides text-light.
- Finish strong with takeaways from your talk and an action step.
- Your final slide should let the audience know how to contact you.
- Keep backup data for Q&A on slides after your contact slide.
- If you don’t have the data requested during Q&A, offer to send the person who asked an email after the presentation.
- Offer to stay after the talk and chat with audience members who have very specific or personal issues to discuss. Don’t waste the general audience’s time.
- Watch out for “hijackers” and audience members seeking the spotlight.