25 January 2016

5 tips for delivering an effective presentation

Want to know how to deliver effective presentations that actually add long lasting value? Follow our handy advice:

If you’re reading this article then you probably work in Learning and development, training or HR;  professions which require you to give presentations to members of your organisation or other eager learners on a regular basis. Sure, you’ve probably become a bit of a dab hand at the old presentation malarkey now. But how can you ensure that you’re delivering effective presentations that actually add long lasting value? Follow our handy advice below:

Make it clear

You could be talking about the most exciting topic in the world but if you go on and on (and on), your audience will not be impressed. No one likes a rambler. When planning your presentation, set out a structure that your audience will be able to follow easily. If they can follow your logic, they’ll be more likely to engage. Ensure that the focus of your presentation is something that specifically interests your audience. Before each training session, you should research who your attendees are to ensure that your topics and key discussion points are truly of interest.

Tell a story

Think about your purpose for delivering this presentation; what do you want your learners to do or feel, what do you want to change in their behaviour? The likelihood of you being able to achieve this simply because you are telling them so is rare. Instead, you’ll need to do something to connect with them emotionally which’ll then inspire this new action or behaviour. Story telling has a far higher chance of emotional connect with an audience than any other form of speech. Make your story authentic and personal to ensure a powerful response. Developing the ability to tell stories that compel, excite or motivate people to action is the best way to ensure success. Of course, adding in humour is a sure fire way to make the story memorable too.

Entertain the crowd

Since no one can physically listen to someone drone on in a monotone voice for two hours without falling asleep, this one is a must. We aren’t saying you have to be an actor or a comedian but using these powerful dynamics can help your learners feel the same energy and passion as you have for this subject. You should focus on giving your listeners a great experience. Taking the time to prepare a script that you can memorise and really own is a great first step. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know it off by heart but you should be able to communicate the main points effectively without looking over your notes. A useful method is videoing yourself delivering your presentation. As embarrassing as this may be, it’s a great chance to spot those stutters and word fillers, practice again and remove them so you performance looks more polished. Then, release the inner actor inside you and remember: diction, projection and connection. Sorted.

Throw in a video... but don’t rely on it

Visuals such as PowerPoint, video and various other tools can be extremely powerful presentation tools if they’re used in the correct way. If not though, they can actually do more harm than good. Never let your audience feel as though they would have learnt just as much (and saved less time) by reading through the deck themselves rather than attending in person. Keep your power point as text free as possible and avoid reading directly from it. Remember you’re the expert, and your audience wants want to learn from you, not your materials.

Give them a freebie

So, you’ve followed all the tips above and have managed to nail your presentation. But now people are heading off to lunch, back to their desks or simply leaving the course for the day and here comes the hard part; making them remember what they’ve learnt as the toll of everyday life kicks back in. Even if you’re course was the best thing they’ve ever attended, people are busy and attention will be turned elsewhere. An effective presenter will leave something physical for their audience such as a personalised item, a chapter from a book or a leaflet, this way the audience will remember them long after the presentation has finished.

Sign up to our blog updates