Making a presentation is a useful communication tool because of the personal element it adds to the process. It gives the presenter an opportunity to convey important information to the audience. The key to making a good presentation is to ensure you properly practice and exercise the three elements that will capture the attention of your audience to sell whatever idea you have in mind. These elements are what the audience sees and hears and the content of your presentation. To fulfill this purpose, a presenter needs to structure a captivating presentation.
Establish the purpose of the presentation in terms of what goal you want to achieve; this gives you the foundation for the general structure of the presentation. Conduct research on the members of the audience in terms of age, preferences, affiliations and intellectual ability. Tailor your presentation to match their general preferences and the opinions they hold so that you do not end up insulting them about their personal views during the presentation.
Organize the content of the presentation by arranging it from the most important details to the least. Commence with the strong points that will grab your audience's attention throughout the presentation and include a summary of the material. Take note of the time allocated for the presentation, and plan your presentation to match it. Set aside time for questions from the audience; ensure you are knowledgeable on the subject to answer questions from the audience.
Organize the props you will use for the presentation; for example, in a slide show presentation you require at least a computer and a projector. Ensure the setup presents the information in simple steps that will not confuse the audience. Include the main points that you intend to expound on or diagrams. Make a handout for your audience with a summary of the presentation, which you provide before the presentation to enable them to have a reference.
Conduct a dry run to prepare for the actual presentation; ask you friends or colleagues to watch what you are doing and give their opinions. Practice the tone and pace of what you say to ensure you are audible and your audience can understand what you are saying. Keep eye contact with your mock audience to get yourself used to looking at the audience.
- Use short stories, quotes and additional background material to assist you in spicing up the presentation; this gives the audience a clearer picture of the message.
Rose Wright started writing professionally in 2004. She has been published in the monthly "Business Digest." Wright holds a Bachelor of Arts in media and journalism from Ryerson University and a Master of Business Administration from the Rotman School of Management.