Your ability to
speak well is one of the most powerful keys to business and personal
success. Research reveals that those with the highest incomes have superior
presentation and persuasion skills.
In fact, speaking
well and getting your point across in clear and concise manner are stronger
factors in achieving high status in business than education, length
of experience or career field.
aren't just for top executives and CEO's anymore. They're necessary
for any person in business who wants to get their point across confidently,
clearly, and without nervousness, whether they're presenting a new idea
... selling a product ... or making a presentation before a small group
or board of directors.
The two most crucial
areas of successful presentations are planning and delivery.
understanding the audience, assessing their needs, establishing objectives
to meet their needs, researching the topic, designing the presentation
and making sure the facilities are adequate for the presentation. To
develop a successful plan you need to answer the following questions.
Who are your participants?
Do they share the same background and level of experience?
Have the participants attended presentations similar to yours?
Do they have any knowledge or skills that pertain to the topic of your
How many participants will attend the presentation?
Did the participants volunteer to attend or were they required to attend?
What is the preferred learning style of the group? i.e. lectures, demonstrations
How much time will you have for the presentation?
What are the goals of the presentation?
How will I open the presentation?
How will I close the presentation?
How will I organize the body?
How will I get their attention?
How will I keep their interest?
What questions will I ask?
What questions will they ask?
What notes, visuals and materials do I need?
90% of the success
of a presentation is attributed to planning. If you don't plan all the
tips and strategies you use won't make a difference.
the presenter's style and his or her ability in knowing how to use verbal
and nonverbal communication, questioning and reinforcement, group interaction,
and the appropriate use of humor. Some guidelines to make your presentation
a winner include:
Whether you are speaking
to one person or hundreds, the success of your presentation depends on
more than what you have to say. How you say it and how you interact with
your audience will also determine their response. By following the guidelines
above, you'll be well on your way to planning and delivering a winning
- Be sure to tell
your audience why your presentation is relevant to them
- Keep your presentation
within or under the allotted time. Never go over time.
- Make sure you
have enough breaks. Research shows that adult concentration peaks
out at 1 hour and 15 minutes.
- Do not tell
jokes unless you are a great storyteller ... and then make certain
that your story will offend absolutely no one in the room!
- Eliminate all
material that is not directly relevant to the central theme of your
- Your visual
aids should be aids and not crutches. Do not overwhelm your audience
- Maintain eye
contact with your audience throughout your presentation.
- Listen actively
to audience questions. Often the questioner is asking more than what
meets the ear.
- Always rephrase
what you think the question to be before you respond to it.
- Show enthusiasm.
People are more convinced by the enthusiasm of your message than by
the message itself.
- Deliver presentations
in your own style. To come across as genuine, sincere and knowledgeable,
you must be yourself.
- Keep the audiences
attention. Have a question, anecdote, story, exercise or discussion
point every 3 to 5 minutes.
- Have an attention
getting opener. You can do this by, asking a question, sharing a personal
experience or anecdote, starting with a strong statistic, commenting
on a current event, or by using a visual
- Use your voice
and body language to make your message memorable. Only 7% of the way
your message is perceived is by the words you use. The other 93% is
from the tone of your voice, the rate of your speech and your body
- Relieve anxiety
by, organizing and planning, practicing, focusing on the happy faces
in the audience, doing relaxation exercises, arriving early to get
to know and feel comfortable with the audience.