Advice and tips for a successful presentation

presentation by Bill Nye the Science guy

No matter the context, an oral presentation is not fully improvised. To master this aspect of communication, think about your preparation and training that will lead to forming a clear and relevant speech.

A successful presentation starts with preparation

Different cases where you have to speak in public include the following: motivating your employees, communicating a report or results to a director, presenting a project to a manager, speaking to an audience as a teacher or lecturer.  To be successful in an oral presentation, always account for time for preparation.

First step: identify the audience.  Adapt your speech based on the profile of your audience.  Then, add supporting pieces such as outlines or PowerPoint slides.  These supporting pieces will be the focus, but they will not contain all aspects of your presentation.  To avoid a media overload, limit yourself to the main points of the presentation by putting in only predominate key words.  It will be helpful to practice with the supporting materials before “D-day”, if possible, in the actual environment.

Create a striking speech to captivate your listeners

For an oral presentation, the idea is to interest your audience and bring them together to hear your message.  In this context, it is essential to create a striking speech to captivate and keep the attention of your audience. This is often an aspect that is overlooked in the process of focusing on everything else.  If the context allows for it, you can include some humor in the introduction.

Captivating the attention of your audience is one thing, and maintaining it is a whole other story.  Throughout the entirety of your presentation, your audience members should feel, through your attitude and message that you deliver, that you are completely committed to what you are talking about.  This can be communicated by the content of the speech, by your gestures, by your voice, etc. that must all be marked with charisma.  Speak loudly without shouting and avoid a monotone intonation. To avoid annoying or boring the audience, vary the volume and flow of your speech.

Oral presentation: when conciseness rhymes with effectiveness

For a conference, or seminar, or other type of meeting, it is pertinent to avoid speaking simply for the reason of speaking.  In other words, stay away from long speeches, as these are the surest ways to put your audience members to sleep.  Stick to conciseness. Remember that the adult’s listening capacity is limited to a dozen minutes and that one will retain only about 30% of what is discussed; therefore, stick to the essentials!

Even if you have created a great speech, if it is poorly presented, your message will lose all its value.  Also, at the presentation, take care to avoid filler words. Detect your speaking faults and practice hard to get rid of them.  In case of hesitation, simply pause. This last skill is a skill that takes the longest to master.  Finally, for the whole presentation, choose simple sentences and avoid jargon. Make sure your audience can fully understand you.



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Erica Martin

Business Developer at Beekast

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