How to Do a Presentation

So you are wondering how to do a presentation.

Regardless of whether you need to do a presentation for your class, your employer or a professional group, one fact is definitive: you must be prepared!

The Emotional Importance of Preparedness

Being prepared for your presentation enables you to get your point across more effectively.  With preparation, you can feel more comfortable during the presentation, which prevents the embarrassment of being ill-prepared.

Steps on How to Do a Presentation

With that said, there are several guidelines on how to do a presentation that will ensure your next speech is successful.

  • Do your homework. This point can’t be stressed enough, as you must be able to discuss the topic in detail and provide the best information possible to your audience. Doing your homework and researching your topic in depth is also important, as it enables you to answer questions beyond the presentation.

For example, if you research your topic alone, instead of other topics which may relate to your presentation, then you will likely be ill-equipped to provide your audience with educated answers. On the other hand, if you’ve done your research, you will feel comfortable and appear far more professional to your audience during the presentation.

  • Practice makes perfect. There is nothing more effective than practicing for your presentation beforehand. Being fully prepared also means running through your presentation to make sure you are fully prepared to speak in front of your audience. Whether you use your bathroom mirror or a friend, just make sure you practice your presentation aloud to work out any kinks.

  • Test your setup beforehand. Along with practicing your presentation, testing your setup is extremely important, as you’ll want to make sure all of your equipment functions properly and that you are prepared to speak in a certain setting. For example, will you have difficulty with the audio and visual aspects of your presentation in a large room?

  • Consider your audience. Your audience will likely dictate the overall tone of your presentation. Consider if you are presenting to a formal or informal audience, and if it is appropriate to use humor.

  • Keep it simple. One of the biggest mistakes many individuals make when giving a presentation is that they overdo the jargon and the complexity in an attempt to impress the audience. Keeping it simple, on other hand, will better keep your audience’s attention, will make the presentation flow better, and will make you appear more approachable.

When using a computer presentation program, such as PowerPoint, remember to keep each slide simple and easy to read. Avoid long titles, check your spelling and avoid using too many slides. Your slides should reiterate your presentation, not dictate it.

  • Speak slowly. Many individuals that give presentations end up speaking too quickly, mainly out of nervousness. It is important, however, to slow down your speech to enable your audience to better hear and understand you and to grasp your presentation’s overall idea and concept.

  • Smile and make eye contact. In addition to taking your time, it is important to stop and make eye contact with your audience. It is also important to smile, as this will make you look more relaxed, confident and approachable.

With a full understanding on how to do a presentation, a standing ovation may be just around your corner!