News Watch Info Vantage Industry Bites Home Percept-O-speak Events and Happenings
menu Info Vantage Industry Bites Home Pot Pourri Percept-O-speak Events and Happenings up-close up-close

A Dozen Top Presentation Tips

Sooner or later in your professional career, you will probably be called upon to deliver a presentation. Here are 12 expert tips to ensure you present engagingly.

1) Plan a Brief, Interesting, Well-Organized Presentation - The classic organizational structure for a presentation is to tell your audience what you plan to tell them, then actually tell them, then summarize by telling them what you told them. Audience attention spans have grown shorter and shorter in our media-glutted times, so unless you have been assigned a talk of a specific length, make yours as short as possible. About 10 minutes is ideal unless you are an exceptional speaker.

2) Consider Fresh Approaches to Slides, or Eliminate Them Altogether - The trend is toward minimalist slides with large, bold images and graphics instead of text-laden slides that are hard to read and absorb. The Japanese developed a technique called Pecha Kucha in which the presentation is limited to 20 minimalist slides to which the presenter devotes no more than 20 seconds each. Consider whether slides will really even add to your presentation. Think of other ways you could be creative with visual aids.

3) Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse - Perhaps the most significant key to an effective presentation is to practice as much as you can. Rehearsal addresses many issues that can arise during a presentation. First, you'll get the timing right if you rehearse, ensuring that your presentation is neither too long nor too short. Next, you'll overcome any technical glitches if you are using audiovisual equipment. You'll get more comfortable with your content, which will help you tackle your nerves.

4) Nail Your Technology, and Have a Backup Plan - If you're using technology in your presentation be sure you know how to use the equipment in the room in which you'll be presenting. Your multimedia components might work on your own office computer, but be sure they'll also work on the presentation computer. Practice with the actual equipment if possible.

5) Conquer Your Nerves - A famous study showed that more people are afraid of public speaking than of dying, so if your heart starts pounding before a presentation, congratulations; you're normal! Channel your nervous energy before your presentation by taking a walk and a few deep breaths. Visualize yourself delivering a flawless presentation. During the presentation, you can deal with nervous energy by walking around the front of the room,- as long as you don't get carried away and distract your audience. Transform your nerves into positive energy that makes you appear enthusiastic.

6) Don't Set Up Negative Audience Expectations - Never announce to your audience that you're really nervous. Don't apologize or say anything like, "This presentation isn't going to be very good." As soon as you put down your own presentation, your audience will begin to look for the worst.

7) Connect with Your Audience - Do everything you can to make contact with your audience, and avoid barriers to connecting with the group. Make eye contact with the entire audience. Don't turn your back and read your slides.

8) If You Use a Lectern, Don't Abuse It - Some presenters are just more secure with a lectern, and that's OK. But don't rock back and forth, sway from side to side, lean heavily on the lectern, or tap your fingers on it.

9) Avoid Distracting Verbal Behaviours and Body Language - Some presenters are just more secure with a lectern, and that's OK. But don't rock back and forth, sway from side to side, lean heavily on the lectern, or tap your fingers on it.

10) Dress the Part - Even if formal business attire is not the standard in the venue for your presentation, you will always make a good impression if you dress up at least to the business-casual level. Spiffy attire will boost your confidence and make you seem more authoritative and persuasive.

11) Be in Good Voice - Be sure you can project your voice loudly enough to be heard (again, rehearsal will help). Speak neither too slowly nor too quickly (a normal speaking rate is 120-160 words per minute.) Modulate your voice so your pitch varies, and you are not speaking in a monotone. Be animated!

12) Take Special Care with Team Presentations - Be sure everyone knows what his or her role is in the presentation. Develop smooth transitions from presenter to presenter. Decide on where team members will stand when not speaking; don't have everyone clustering around the audiovisual equipment, for example. Team members should not talk among themselves when another member is speaking.

In summary, with preparation and practice, you can not only avoid dreading delivering presentations but turn them into compelling, engaging talks that keep your audiences spellbound and help boost your career.

Founded in 1984, Percept, an entertainment, media and communications company, today , is at an enviable leadership position with a team of 1200 people and 62 offices across India and Middle East. This publication has been exclusively created for our stakeholders. The contents of this publication has been created with inputs from Percept Companies and Divisions. This document may not be reproduced or circulated without prior consent from the Corporate Communications Department at Percept Limited.

© Corporate Communications, Percept Limited, P-22, Raghuvanshi Estate, 11/12 Senapati Bapat Marg, Lower Parel (West), Mumbai - 400013, India. Tel: +91-22-30448400 Fax: +91-22-24911281 Web: Intranet: Email:
This page is best viewed in 1024 x 768 screen resolution and above.