Pitch perfect: how to prepare an awesome presentation

Screenshot 2014-07-29 11.16.27It could be presenting a quarterly sales update to your team or giving a keynote speech at a conference, either way the thought of giving a presentation can reduce even the strongest person into an anxiety-ridden bag of nerves, sweating buckets as they pace the corridor before taking the stage.

Whether you’re a wallflower or an extrovert, presentations can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be. We bring you our tips for a preparing a solid presentation, with not a cheesy one-liner in sight!

Look sharp. If you want to own the room, dress for it. The classic red tie. The shiny shoes. The lucky underpants (preferably not on show!).

Be the first one there. As they say, the early bird catches the worm. There’s no ‘fashionably late’ at this party. Get there first and have a cuppa tea to calm your nerves and reflect on your content.

Come equipped. It’s always best if you can leave the audience with something other than your nervous odours. Think memorable, simple and ideally supplements the presentation.

Keep it simple. Don’t overload your audience with masses of information. Stick to the point – ’nuff said!

Know your audience. Whether it’s three or three hundred, know who you’re talking to and tailor your presentation accordingly. For instance, if you’re presenting to the head honchos, random clipart and smiley faces might not be all that appreciated.

Save the words for later. Visuals are best when it comes to attention grabbing. Lots of text on screen can distract the audience’s attention from what you’re saying, plus can slow your presentation flow as you have to read through each and every point.

Predict the closing questions. Be prepared and think about the type of questions you may be asked as it will help you respond to them calmly and thoroughly. If they do bring out a shocker, just try to avoid your rabbit-in-headlights impression!

Summarise your key messages. Reiterate your main ideas or arguments to your audience at the end of your presentation and really drive the point home.

While your legs may still feel like jelly, following the tips above should put you in good stead to give a well-prepared presentation. Good luck!

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