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Secrets to a successful presentation

Giving a successful presentation can be a difficult exercise, but it is only by practicing that it gets easier. Discover our tricks!

Objective

First of all, it is important to define the objective of your presentation. What message do you want to convey? What should the audience remember?
It will then be much easier for you to define the structure of your presentation, the one that will allow you to share and clearly communicate your goal.

Audience

Once the purpose and structure of your presentation have been defined, it is time to ask yourself who your audience is. Who are you addressing? By asking yourself this question, you will be able to adapt your language and opt for the most suitable formula, for example, tailored to the participants’ prior knowledge on the subject.

Content

The information must be targeted and shared in a concise manner. To do so, make a list with all the points you want to address and try to keep it as short as possible. This is a very effective exercise to allow you to focus on the essentials. This will help you avoid repetition which can make your presentation monotonous. In a nutshell in terms of content, remember the KISS method: keep it simple stupid.

Introduction

This is an essential part of your presentation. Indeed, the introduction sets the tone and those few seconds are crucial to capture the attention of your audience. For example, telling a story, asking a question, using a salient fact, or displaying a captivating image are all different methods that can be used.

Medium

Above all, choose a medium that is appropriate for the content you wish to share. For example, if you choose a PowerPoint presentation, do not overload it, and do not add too much text. Instead, use keywords or short sentences. For a better visual effect, also choose a clean design. Finally, do not read what is written. It is only meant to help you if you lose track.
If you are using a video, make sure the video is not too long. A length of 2-3 minutes is usually recommended, otherwise, you may lose the attention of your audience.

Rehearsal

Rehearsing your presentation is a crucial aspect, which should not be confused with learning by heart. By simply mastering the structure and sequence of your speech, you will avoid hesitation and look more convincing to your audience. It will also allow you to adjust your timing if necessary, as it is important to respect the time you have been given or the time communicated to the participants.

Body language

We could devote an entire article to this subject, however, there are a few important aspects to consider when rehearsing your presentation. First, your posture says a lot about you and your level of confidence. Sagging shoulders and looking down can easily be interpreted as a lack of confidence or even enthusiasm. On the contrary, a posture that is too upright can potentially be perceived as arrogant. So try to find a balance by being upright but relaxed. Second, use your hands, but not too much. Controlled gestures can support your speech and help you demonstrate your ideas clearly. However, overuse can distract your audience. Finally, your different facial expressions can make your speech more lively. To do so, nothing is better than practicing in front of the mirror to see which expressions, gestures, and types of posture will best help you convey the message you want.

Public attention

One trick to capture the audience’s attention is to create eye contact with the participants. This will give them the impression that you are addressing them directly. Another way is to use audience reactions to create interaction. Even if you step out of line a little bit, it will only make your presentation more lively and create a real conversation between you and the audience.

We hope these few tips will help you in your next presentation and are curious to discover your own tricks! Feel free to share them with us!

To go further:

Nonverbal communication
7 ways to capture someone’s attention

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