Being asked to give a presentation can often be a terrifying prospect. Even those amongst us who are unnerved by public speaking sometimes find it hard to deliver an effective presentation. A successful presentation must incorporate well selected and coherent material, captivating visual aids and an engaging delivery style. If you’re feeling nervous about an upcoming presentation, have a read through these great tips on how to give a killer presentation. Remember, practice makes perfect and if you are well prepared, your confidence will shine through when you come to formally present. 

Work on Your Confidence

A successful presentation is all about confidence. Having a calm and assured presence will ensure that people will be more engaged with your ideas. Make sure you work on your body language – don’t hunch over, fiddle with anything in your hands or drift into the corner of the room. Instead, plant your feet, tilt your chin up and look people in the eye as you speak. If you’ve ever watched or listened to a presentation delivered by a really confident and well-prepared speaker, you’ll know that body language makes all the difference in how your words and ideas are received by the audience.

It’s a good idea to memorize your speech as this means you will be able to look people in the eye rather than staring down at your notes. If you’re not comfortable memorizing your speech word for word then make yourself some flashcards with prompts – this will mean that you’ll have something to look at if you find yourself lost. Confidence is all about practice – there’s no use making sure that your body language is confident if you haven’t rehearsed your presentation. Make sure you have performed your presentation in front of a group of people before you have to formally present it, even if this is just a friend or family member!

Film Yourself Speaking Your Presentation

Filming yourself doing your presentation is a great idea if you’re nervous about how you come across when formally presenting. Set up a camera with a makeshift tripod and film yourself doing your presentation from beginning to end – you might feel a bit silly but this is an absolutely vital step in building up your confidence for that big presentation day! After you have filmed yourself, watch it back and take notes on where you could improve. Perhaps you are speaking too fast? Or perhaps there is a certain section that is too wordy and could be said in a more coherent way? After you’ve taken notes, make the edits to your presentation and film yourself again. You’ll immediately be able to see the improvements and this will boost your confidence for when you have to do the real thing!

Make Sure All Technological Aspects Run Smoothly

Almost all presentations benefit from some kind of visual aid. Visual aids in the form of a slideshow presentation have been proven to engage audiences for longer periods of time as well as making your presentation more coherent. Be careful to keep the words on your slideshow to a minimum – you don’t want your audience to be reading along with you as you speak. Instead, you want your slideshow to include sharp graphics, relevant pictures and the occasional quotes or sentence that needs to be emphasized from your speech.

There’s nothing worse than when the technological elements don’t run smoothly. We’ve all watched a presenter flounder as they struggle to open their slideshow or the elements in their slideshow get mixed up, so make sure you’re familiarized with how to make a slideshow. Setapp’s blog post answers questions you might have about creating a fabulous and eye-catching slideshow. From tips on the best slideshow makers to how to integrate photos beautifully into your presentation, Setapp has all the apps you need to make sure you are firmly prepared for when you come to formally deliver your presentation.

Make Sure Your Presentation is Engaging

An engaging presentation will keep its audience hanging on your every word as well as being factual, informative and well delivered. Think about the timings of your presentation. You never want to spend too long on one topic but equally, you want to make sure that each topic is explained thoroughly before moving onto the next. You will likely be given a set amount of time that you have to deliver your presentation to make sure you time yourself before the day that you present as there’s nothing worse than an ill-timed presentation. If anything, it’s best if your presentation is slightly under the set amount of time to allow for technological mishaps and questions from the audience at the end.    

Interact with Your Audience

This tip isn’t always appropriate – for example, if you are delivering to your boss and a group of board members, it might be appropriate for you to speak uninterrupted for any given amount of time. However, if you are speaking to a younger audience, in particular, it’s a great idea to ask for some audience participation to keep them engaged. Ask simple questions to ensure both that the audience members feel confident enough to engage and that their answers to don’t take away too much time from your presentation.

Presenting in any capacity can be an extremely nerve-racking ordeal. You have to get across your ideas in a coherent way, often under significant time pressure. There’s always a lot riding on your back in any presentation as you know that your presentation style and confidence will affect the manner in which your ideas are received, but don’t fear! If you follow these easy tips, you’ll be sure to deliver a killer presentation that no one will be able to forget. Remember, rehearsing your presentation goes a long way towards you feeling confident and well prepared come your presentation day. Take it step by step, following each point in this guide and you’ll be well on your way to delivering the best presentation of your life!