Standing and talking in front of a crowd is no easy task. For some people, they tend to find a way to say when it comes to presentations to avoid panic and stage fright. While some are naturally good at speaking to a bunch of people, there are a few who don’t know how to begin. Unfortunately, there are times when we can’t just say no to these speaking engagements.
Luckily for you, there’s a way to make sure that you will not stutter and freeze while you’re up there. Nowadays, slideshows, such as PowerPoint have become one of the most effective tools used in creating a presentation for all types of events and meetings. To help you be at your best before that day comes, here a few tips to prepare for your upcoming presentation.
Create a backup for your PowerPoint
Always expect technical difficulties. Even if you are using the highest-quality computer, things can still go wrong. You may encounter issues when using PowerPoint, such as compatibility of formats, corrupted files, and the like. To make sure that your presentation will not be interrupted by these things, you can always convert your presentation from PPT to PDF.
There are reliable online PDF tool platforms such as PDFBear where you can make a PDF copy of your presentation. It’s a free conversion tool where you won’t need to download and install anything on your computer. All you need to do is visit PDFBear’s website, upload your PPT presentation there, and convert it to PDF in as fast as 2 minutes.
You no longer have to worry should there be any issues with your PowerPoint if you have a PDF backup. PDF files are universal, and they can be accessed even if you are using mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets.
Make your presentation precise and concise
One of the worst experiences as an audience or attendee is listening to a long and winding presentation. As much as possible, make your presentations straight to the point but clear and understandable. It’s also an advantage to stick to your slides to make sure that you will not suddenly drift away from the topic. You can even put speaker notes in the presentation to remember which points you should only cover.
The problem with being in charge of the microphone, even if you are scared at first, is that you have the authority to say anything you want. Because of this, some speakers tend to share more than they need to. To make your presentation effective, it’s best to keep your speech precise and concise.
If it’s not an impromptu speech, you should have enough time to research more information about the topic assigned to you. Do not be overconfident to stick to your stock knowledge, unless you are required to talk about your personal experiences. With ample research, the audience will gain and learn more things about you.
Share the presentation’s outline ahead of time
Some people create a teaser or summary of the items that they will talk about. If you have the time to do it, you can do so. In that way, the audience will already know what to expect from your presentation. You have to keep in mind, how ever, that these summaries may not apply to all cases.
For instance, if you are doing a presentation for a seminar or an event, a more detailed teaser may work. However, for business plans and meetings, just the main outline should be sufficient. Furthermore, outlines will help you stay on track with your speech.
Think of possible questions and prepare for it
All presentations have Q & A. Some may be informal, where your boss will raise his hand to ask questions, while some are a bit more structured, where there will be moderators assigned for the crowd. Regardless of how it is done, it is expected that someone will ask something about your presentation.
Make sure to prepare for it by thinking about the pros and cons of your topic. You can start by creating a list of the possible contradictions and affirmations about the things you will talk about. You do not need to include all of this information in your actual talk, but it’s good to have them ready, in case someone asks you about it.
Express gratitude to everyone who participates
Whatever the conclusion or however the presentation goes, always thank your audience — even if you think that you did not do a good job. The fact that your audience sat down and listened to you the entire time is already an affirmation of their respect for you. That alone is something to be thankful for.
Make every presentation count!
These are just a few ways how you can improve your presentation. But no matter what you feel about being under the spotlight, always remember that it is always an honor to talk in front of a crowd. Just make sure to take some effort to prepare for it, and everyone will be all ears. Good luck with your presentation!