You might think that just because we’re in a digital era, giving a presentation in person is less important. All vital information really is passed through internet channels, Slack messages, and emails… right?
Being able to give a killer presentation at work can help you stand out, show yourself as a potential leader, and make your mark on a company. But it’s way more than just standing in front of a group and word-vomiting facts into a room.
These are our top high-level tips to give a great presentation. What does that mean? It means I assume you already know the basics – know your material, inside and out. Know your facts and hard data, and know how you got those numbers.
These are more than that. More than data, how you can improve yourself to give the best presentation possible.
Cultivate your Stage Presence
Have you heard of the term, ‘Stage Presence’? It’s an old acting term that means the amount of space you take up, essentially. An actor with a strong stage presence draws the audience’s eye to them even if they’re not speaking, and new actors can get lost in a cast of veterans with a strong stage presence.
You need to work on this! Even if you’re not a large or imposing figure, you can still have a great stage presence. Keep your shoulders square and back, chest out. Stand tall! Practice in a mirror, even if you feel dumb.
Go over pieces of your presentation in that mirror. Notice your hand motions. Are you fidgeting with your tie? Pulling your hair? Pacing? Stop all of that!
Every movement should be planned and purposeful. Any extra or unneeded movements aren’t going to help your presentation, but hurt them.
Work on your Voice
You can’t be taken seriously if you’re not confident in what you’re saying and well-spoken when you’re saying it. If you worry that your voice or speech patterns could be holding you back, ask a trusted friend, colleague, or even a SO to listen to you give your presentation and take notes.
Really pay attention to your words. Are you using a lot of ‘filler’ words, like uhm, uh, and err? Avoid these! They weaken your position and don’t add anything to the presentation. Just like your movements, each word should have a purpose and a goal. Filler words don’t!
Concentrate Your Message For Your Audience
The presentation you give to experts in your field would be different if you were giving it to, say, a new member of the team or an outsider. Remember your audience when you’re doing your presentations, and adjust accordingly!
If you’re selling them on an idea, know what sells to your demographic. If you’re pushing a new product, focus on the benefits that will directly help them the most.
Generic presentations that are limited in their scope or target audience are killers – and NOT in a good way!
Marketing expert Guy Kawasaki has a rule that everyone should abide by when making presentations for work. It’s the 10-20-30 rule.
10 slides or less.
20 minutes or less.
30 font size or larger.
Go too long, and you lose your audience – plus, they forget what you opened with. Too many slides and you’ve distracted them from your core message. And too small print? They can’t read that, and even if they can, they’re not going to!