2. Be Prepared – Mic Check 1, 2, 1, 2. Before he tore the house down, “the 6th grader” adjusted the mic stand and got his levels right. He wanted to make sure the tech didn’t stop his awesomeness and you should too. Technology is cool until you don’t have the right adapter to connect your laptop to the monitor! YOU should have the most basic adapters to connect your laptop to a projector. If there is an IT dept. on hand to help be sure to be sure to communicate what type of laptop you have and the connections you need. It’s also a good idea to have an extra battery or at the very least be operating with a full battery. And when possible, you should have everything you need for your presentation on your computer, instead of if being in a cloud or internet based. You never know when you will be subject to a spotty connection. You should also be prepared for your tech to completely fail you when you need it most! So be ready to give your presentation without it by having a printout of the key points you want to hit..
3. Know your audience – “the 6th grader” acknowledged his people. He played to the people in the audience that he knew would support him and they did. Don’t be the guy on the southwest airlines commercial yelling out the wrong city or group! That’s a moment too tough to overcome. But seriously, it’s important to know who you are talking to and why. Having a solid understanding of your audience and why they are there will give you direction on how to best reach them. When you have a frame of reference of your audience’s perspective, you can tailor your message to both meet their needs and their expectations.
Now, here are 3 Tips from a guy that has been giving presentations in front of 1000's of people for over 10 years, he is kind of cool too. He goes by Chris C Speaks!
BONUS: knowing your audience is great but don’t over generalize, always remember you are speaking to a group but they are not all homogeneous. So when prepping for a group keep the tailored part of your message general enough to hit home with the average person in your audience. I.e. most freshmen are a little nervous about coming to campus and most seniors are nervous about finding a job after graduation. Knowing this allows you to tailor your examples, humor, and benefits of your message. Sharing a part of yourself and letting the audience see how you can relate to them is a great way to connect with a group. Treat every story like an opportunity to gain another supporter in the audience. Before you leave the stage, everyone will be on your team!
BONUS: PowerPoint is cool but there are so many different options for making presentations. Check out Prezi and SlideRocket for starters. Remember that your technology should only compliment your presentation, not dominate it. Do your best to never read verbatim from a slide, the audience can read but they can’t read your mind. What you have to give is too much for any slide, that’s why you are giving the presentation instead of just sending out an email with the information
BONUS: how many times have you seen someone stumble in a presentation only for it to derail the entire thing?! DON’T DO IT! Keep going! I hope that you are giving a presentation because you have information that will make a positive impact in people's lives. When you stumble, remember the audience is ok with you not being perfect but they won't be ok with you fulfilling your promise to give them information to impact their lives. Confidence and a strong finish can make up for a stumble here or there. The best speakers in the world don’t deliver a flawless presentation every time they hit the stage, but they do deliver a consistent product that conveys their knowledge, expertise, and passion.
Presentations can be an easy way to convey your message to a group. However, on a college campus where your message is competing to be heard over dozens, if not hundreds, of other messages it’s critical that you do your presentation is effective, powerful, and relevant. While the content of your presentation is crucial, so is the delivery. Your message could change the world (or at least your campus/organization or company) but if your delivery is trash.com no one will listen. Even though some of us are comfortable giving presentations, others absolutely dread it! Either way these three tips will help you give better presentations.