Trying to get ahead in your career often involves presentations. Fortunately, today, there are many resources that can teach you how to be a good presenter, so you don’t have to rely on childish tricks to overcome your fear. Here are our list of 12 proven tips from professionals that will help you identify your potential strengths and weaknesses and the areas to work on.
Top 12 Tips on How to Be a Good Presenter
Learn how to create a good slide
Are you cramming in loads of text and all possible graphics into your presentation? Then you need to re-do it ASAP. A good presentation slide is about a clean and clear design. Usually the text parts are written in 30 point font. If you’re writing a lot, then what is the point of your role as a presenter? People can read it themselves at their desks. Deliver your message verbally to captivate your audience. This is the most basic how to be a good presenter tip and you must master it before anything else.
To say you are prepared is the same as saying that you know your topic well. The better you know it, the fewer notes you will need and your words will flow more freely. The slides should accompany your presentation and provide a graphical background for it rather than the other way around. Visit the conference room in advance and check if the projector works to avoid embarrassing troubleshooting after your audience arrives.
Say it in fewer words
Good presenting is just like good writing. The leaner you can make your message, the more captivated the audience will be. Polish your presentation until you can deliver as one uninterrupted string of ideas, without many parentheses and side tracks.
Even if you feel unwell, when you apologize to your audience you make them think that they will get a worse presentation than they deserve. If you have symptoms, those will speak for themselves. If you don’t, who cares that you are unwell? Surely, if you sneeze in the microphone, then apologize. Just don’t say anything like “I’ve got a cold and might not be so great today” when you go on stage.
Make use of humor
Sprinkle a few jokes here and there to lighten the mood. The best presenters even start with a lighthearted remark to break the ice. But be very careful with the jokes you use, as you don’t want to be insensitive to the audience. Think about how your jokes may be interpreted and do a quick investigation on the background of your public, especially if you don’t know them well, to make sure you don’t upset anyone by mistake. You can make fun of circumstances, or yourself – but not your audience.
Don’t impersonate someone else
This is just another version of the classical advice “Be yourself”. Learning how to be a good presenter is learning how to be yourself, but in a way that emphasizes all your qualities. Don’t try to imitate someone else, as you cannot maintain your guise all the time. Instead, try to play your own strengths and employ them on stage.
Put real interest in what you say
If you are not passionate about what you are saying, then don’t expect your public to be. If you are interested in the topic that you will present, be sure that your audience will find it interesting as well. If you think the topic is boring, then either add something interesting or change the topic all together.
Good presenters know how to work around unexpected issues. Your computer starts to install updates right after the presentation begins? Leave it on the desk to do its thing, take a step forward to the audience, and start to ask them a little about themselves, or why they are interested in this presentation. Or take the five minutes to further familiarize them with the topic you are going to talk about.
Take acting lessons
Taking some acting lessons might be helpful. You will learn when to take pauses for effect, how to choose your phrasing to let your words sink in and what to do with your body. These will improve your confidence, while confidence will let you focus on your message rather than wonder what to do with your hands. A little drama always goes a long way, but be careful not to exaggerate.
Along with good acting lessons, storytelling fills the stage. A refined and coherent message is more readily accepted by the audience than a fragmented string of information. If you want to present a report, you can just send off the slides by email. If you want to do a great presentation, think about the implications of what you’re trying to convey and fill them into your stories that will grab the audience’s attention.
Change your voice
Most people don’t like the sound of their voice, but only some lucky few know that they can change the tone, pitch, and harmonics of their voice to make it more likeable. Just like in canto lessons, people can learn to modulate their voices if they know how to breathe and how to produce sounds the right way. Voice lessons teach you how to round and phrase your sentences, when to breathe and when to pause for maximum effect. Studies show that people in positions of power have a lower pitch. So use deeper tones when you present, while using your diaphragm for controlling air.