As the old saying goes, you only get one chance to make a good first impression. That’s why Ingram Micro presentation expert Eric Carrillo, technical production manager, suggests these top presentation tips.
1. Know Your Material.
Never wing it, says Carrillo. “Audiences know when you’re prepared because you sound like an expert they can trust.”
2. Know Your Audience.
For any size group, take polls around related material when you begin your presentation. A quick show of hands is all you need.
3. Choose a Style.
Adopt a presentation style that fits your personality to gain audience trust. Common styles include sales, educational, informative and entertaining.
4. Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse.
Get comfortable with the spoken sound of your words. Role play with a group that includes a fully committed antagonist. Even better, present to nontechies as you’ll likely discover where clarifications are needed. Evaluate each rehearsal and adjust.
5. Prepare Your Tools.
Assemble everything, including your slide advancer, in your office to ensure it all integrates. Practice using your tools to eliminate distractions.
6. Scope it Out.
Always arrive early to investigate the presentation area. Will you be looking directly into a projector the entire time? If you’re a “walker,” is there room to move around in front of the group?
7. Break the Ice
Humor is good, but so are relevant anecdotes and summaries of what people will learn. Polls can also double as ice breakers.
8. Take it Slow.
In the spotlight, there’s a natural tendency to speed up. But audiences need the opposite. After making key points, pause to let people absorb the information.
9. End it Right.
Definitely include a slide with your contact info. When appropriate, ask to connect via LinkedIn to continue the conversation. Always set a firm follow-up date to answer any questions.
10. Immediately Evaluate.
Whether on-site or in your vehicle, making notes immediately improves detail recall. For example, did eyes drift during a certain section? Consider punching it up the next time.
What do you think? Any recommendations that we should add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.