Delivering a presentation is not as easy as it looks, however it’s something that you’ll find yourself doing throughout your life, whether it be in the classroom, or out in a meeting. Being able to present with confidence takes a lot of practice, and even people with years of experience still slip while presenting. When it comes to presenting, especially with a platform such as PowerPoint to help, there are a number of unwritten rules on how to keep it short yet effective.
Presentation “Rules” You May Follow
- 10-20-30 Rule A rule coined by Guy Kawasaki, the 10-20-30 rule is the rule of PowerPoint. This rule states that a PowerPoint slide should be no more than 10 slides, lasts no longer than 20 minutes and have no text that is less than 30 point font
- 15 Word Summary The title says it all. If you are able to summarise your idea into 15 words then you are good to go for a presentation. Speaking is one way of communication, however too much speaking can also become an inconvenience when it comes to presenting
- 20-20 Rule This rule is another one you can use as reference for a slideshow presentation. The 20-20 rule suggests that you should have 20 slides that lasts for 20 seconds each which would make you concise with your information and keep the audience interested
In delivering a presentation and ways to stand out, there are two factors; external and internal. By external factors, that includes your visual presentation and your surroundings. The internal factors are within yourself to improve your way of presenting, whether it be through speech or body language.
When it comes to presenting, what you deliver and how you deliver it through yourself is most important while external factors are the extras. You also have to keep in mind that in human communication, 20% is verbal and the remaining 80% is non-verbal.
Things to Consider
While preparing your presentation, there are a few things that you can consider in order for your presentation to be successful.
- The Objective Know the purpose of your presentation and what you and your audience will get out of it by the end. What key ideas do you want to convey to your audience and what do you want your audience to experience from your presentation.
- The Subject Know what you’re going to talk about and understand the subject you will be presenting. Be able to explain it in a short summary, but also detailed enough for those that don’t understand. The subject of the presentation will lead to the objective.
- The Audience The audience is one of the most important factors of a presentation. Before preparing your presentation, first consider your audience and their demographics so you are able to tailor your presentation to suit them. Make sure you know how to approach your audience with the subject you will present with.
- Visual Presentation With certain presentations, a visual representation is always a good idea as it allows the audience to have a visual of what they’re listening to. It also gives an easier way of understanding, especially for those who rely on visualisation over audio. There are various mediums that you can use to help with your visual presentation such as PowerPoint, flowcharts, diagrams and many more.
- Dress Appropriately A few ways to know what to wear for your presentation is to know your audience that you’ll be presenting to. You may also refer to the context of your presentation and consider key details. This may help you set limits to what you wear and decide what clothes would be deemed appropriate.
- One tip on how to dress is to try avoiding complicated patterns or bright colours. As a presenter, it is important to have your audience have their attention on your presentation and not your clothes. Also, don’t neglect comfort and wear something that you feel comfortable in.
- Adjust to Surroundings Adjusting to your surroundings would help you feel more at ease and comfortable with when you’ll be presenting. It is highly recommended that you come early for your presentation so you could acquaint yourself with the surroundings. Practice your presentation and know where to go to show the audience that you know your space well.
- Body Language Body language and how you present yourself is an important factor as the audience can see you express yourself and your words through your gestures and posture. To have confident body language leads to confident speech and the more you feel comfortable with yourself, the audience will sense it too and enjoy watching you present.
- Project Your Voice If you were a part of an audience, having a speaker present their ideas with an inaudible is the worse since you won’t be able to understand what they were trying to convey. Make sure your voice is able to be heard by everyone in the room in order for your message to be heard.
- Take Breaks While presenting, make sure to slow down, pause and take breaks. Never rush when doing a presentation, especially when talking as it demonstrates your nerves. Make sure to slow down your speech and pause for emphasis to your sentences.
- Presenting can also be tiring so make sure to take short breaks from time to time. These breaks and pauses would help you collect your thoughts to avoid adding fillers like ‘um’ and ‘ah’ in your speech.
- Do Not Read Reading shows that you are not confident with your topic and a clear sign that you don’t understand the message that you are trying to convey to the audience. The main reason for you reading your presentation would be lack of practice. If you understood your presentation, then it would be easy for you to explain it to the audience and with practice, you could gain that extra confidence for you to present.
- Eye contact is also a crucial factor of presenting and reading your presentation would become a huge barrier for you in doing so. Make sure to have eye contact with everyone in the room for a few seconds each as this would engage your audience with you and your presentation.