3 Tips for Powerful Presentations
You’ve been asked to give a presentation – how do you shine? Here are 3 quick techniques you can use to make your presentations shine.
1 Catch the audience’s attention. Start with a relevant story or an appropriate quote. Something that makes the audience think yes I want to listen to the rest of this presentation. Ask a question to get them thinking. Depending on your presentation you may be able to use a prop, something that may demonstrate your message. One presentation I saw used a balloon to demonstrate the downturn of the economy. Bursting a balloon was very effective in getting the audience to sit up and pay attention!
Think outside of the box - where can you add something different or unusual that will make the audience sit up and pay attention. As long as it is relevant to the message don’t be afraid to be creative.
2. Add movement during your presentation. Adding appropriate gestures and movement to your presentation will give the visual impact to your words. Movement catches an audience’s attention. Make sure the movement is adding value and highlights the message. Movement because you are nervous and pacing will detract not enhance the presentation. Body language and utilising your stage or presentation area are a vital component of your presentation package. Look through your presentation and see where some appropriate gestures can be added. If possible see where you are speaking – what is the stage or presentation area like – can you add movement to engage the audience.
Yes – you can listen to a presentation given with great vocal variety and say that was great presentation. However, adding some appropriate body language and movement will turn it into a powerful presentation. It is all about the complete package.
Smile at your audience – a smile covers a thousand words and hundreds of mistakes. If you forget what you are going to say – smile, if you feel nervous – smile; when you smile they will smile back. You are connected and with that confidence and connection you can share your message.
3. The power of the voice. Be audible – if the audience can’t hear you they can’t hear your message. Identify what type of voice do you have – are you monotone, do you shout or do you whisper, are you fast or slow? Tape yourself and listen or have a friend or colleague listen and advise what sort of voice you have. Practice using your voice effectively.
Increase your rate to add excitement and anticipation. Increase the pitch and volume to grab the audience’s attention – “hey listen to me I have something great to tell you”. Lower the pitch and volume if you want to share emotion or entice the audience. Look at your presentation and see where you can use your voice to add impact. Have fun with your voice – it’s a powerful tool to add the WOW to your presentation.
These are just 3 quick techniques you can use to add impact to your presentations. As you become more confident speaking and presenting I am sure you will find many more techniques that you can use to ensure your presentations are powerful.
Don’t be afraid to try something different – if it is something really different run it by colleagues or a test audience first. Practice, explore and have fun.