How To Give Presentations
Need to know how to give presentations? Whether you are a student or a professional, it is important to know how to give a presentation. Regardless of what the topic is or your audience, presenting can be stressful. Although you may not be able to relinquish all of your nerves, you can still give a great presentation.
- Practice until you are comfortable. It is extremely important to prepare your speech ahead of time. Make time the night before to recite your speech in full; if your presentation includes a power point or information board, include it in the practice. On the day of the presentation, you want to be able to locate information quickly and easily, so practice everything that is a part of your presentation.
- Make light notes for reference. Even if you do not need the notes, it is comforting to have them. If by chance you forget the details of a topic being discussed, you can refer to the notes to avoid embarrassing pauses. Also include little notes on the power point; this will help you to remember your speech and it will help the audience keep up with you.
- Engage your audience. While you are presenting, look at your audience and make brief eye contact. This tactic will encourage your audience to pay attention and it will show them that you are confident in what you are doing. Looking at your audience is a great way to get over nerves and uncertainty. You can evaluate how you are doing by the reaction of your audience. For example, if you see confused expressions, use this cue to explain the topic further. If you do not look at your audience, you will not know if you were successful until the presentation is over. By then, it will be too late.
- Try your best to avoid nervous actions. A good presentation is easily sullied by nervous actions, such as jingling the keys in your pocket, playing with your hair and saying "um" repeatedly. Often, presenters are unaware of these behaviors, but the audience notices all of them. Be aware of yourself during the presentation. It will take time and practice to stop nervous actions, but it can be done. Bring a bottle of water; the audience will not be distracted by the presenter taking a drink and you can use this pause to calm yourself down.
- Answer questions with confidence. After the presentation, the audience will ask you questions related to what was presented. Before you answer, pause briefly after the question has been asked to prepare your answer. If they are referring to a particular figure in the presentation, reference that figure. Try your best to give clear, concise answers. If you are unsure about the answer to a question, it is acceptable to admit that. However, avoid statements such as, "I don't know" and "I don't remember."
Good luck on the presentation!