English presentations are very common in business and are becoming more common for students of the language too. Whatever the reason, here are some tips to help your presentations.
- Sequence the Main Points in Your Introduction
- Don’t use PowerPoint like Word or Excel
- Engage the Audience
- Make Eye Contact with Everyone
- Leave Time to Answer Questions
You need to know what you want to say and the best way to remember it is practice. Prepare short prompts on index cards or sticky notes. Put your slides in order so you don’t have to worry about them. Keep practising.
Let people know what to expect. For example: “First, I’ll talk about…, then I’ll move on to…”
‘First’ and ‘second’ are fine but anything after ‘fourth’ means you need to edit your presentation or group ideas together.
If you have a lot of words or data on the screen your audience will try to read it instead of listening to you. If reading data is so important, send it out as separate file in an email so your audience can prepare for your presentation.
You have to work to get people’s attention. Use interesting graphics rather than clipart or stock photos. You can ask questions to your audience or even set them a short task based on what you have just presented or are going to present next. There’s a good example of this in the Tim Brown TED talk below:
If you relax, your audience can concentrate on your presentation, not you. If you prepare, it is easier to relax. Try to control the speed of your speech. Set your tempo by walking into the presentation area at the speed you plan to speak at and this should help.
This is especially important when you are talking about key information because you can check whether your audience understands. People will also pay more attention when they know you are looking at them.
Check everyone understands what you talked about and get ready to give more details if necessary. When you are really finished, thank everyone for their time and make sure everyone has your contact information.
If you have any other tips leave a comment below.