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Presentations – How to get your message across

So you’re writing your first presentation or you want to improve, where do you start? Here are a few tips to help you succeed:

  • Are you presenting or sending the presentation?

If you’re presenting you can be a lot more brief in your presentation style and do the talking to expand on your topics. If you’re sending the presentation out then it needs to be self-explanatory and therefore more detailed.

  • Consider your audience

Do they want a quick summary, a complex discussion, are they being taught? You don’t need to explain what an alternator is to a garage but you may to the car owner!

  • Keep the detail down

A common mistake from people who are very concerned with detail is to cram it all in to every slide, this makes your presentation look like a document. Worse still it may have been a document and you just moved the text across.

  • Sell it

Are you trying to get a message across? If you are then treat it like a sales pitch, sell your idea, help your audience reach your conclusions.

  • Consider the number of slides

Your director may just want a high level summary with one (yes one!) slide. Your technical staff may want 15 so they understand the problem properly. You may have a limited amount of time to present so consider this as well when setting length.

  • Questions before or after the presentation?

Do you want a discussion all the way through or only after everyone has understood your whole presentation? Make sure you decide this up front and tell your audience.

  • Know your subject

Stuttering through your presentation because you don’t know enough looks awful. Make sure you can answer questions and talk confidently.

  • Talk with confidence and passion

Look up, smile and talk like you would to someone you’re friendly with.

Anyway that’s just a starter for 10, good luck!

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