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Learning how to pull off a great presentation begins in the classroom
There are few things as nerve-wracking as speaking in front of a
class, or to a roomful of colleagues or clients. If you want it to run
smoothly, the key is to prepare well.
Road test everything
Check your equipment beforehand. If you're using PowerPoint or
showing video, make sure everything works and transitions as it
should. Nothing will disrupt a presentation like technical issues.
[quote]No matter how busy you are, block out the time to master the
topic you're presenting. There's nothing worse than having to wing it
when someone asks a question or if you lose your place.[/quote]
Of course, Murphy's Law means that despite all your precautions,
something will go wrong during your presentation. But if you're well
prepared and know your stuff, you can usually move on without skipping
a beat. It's a good idea to have back-up notes in case a slide doesn't
Practise your presentation in front of a friend or family member and
ask for their feedback. Alternatively, video record your presentation
and watch it back. Time your presentation to make sure it's not too
short or long.
Respect your audience
If you're presenting useful information to your audience, you
probably won't have to work for their attention. Customise the
presentation for the audience, present a story rather than a stream of
facts and graphs, use large and easily readable fonts on any slides
you show and try to grab their attention at the start with something unexpected.
When it comes to any sort of speech, less is always more. A good rule
of thumb is to cut the length of your presentation to half of what you
initially thought it should be.
End with a bang
Think about every question the audience might ask at the end of the
presentation and have an answer prepared. It may fall to you to get
the post-presentation Q&A session started, so have a couple of
questions ready to ask the audience in case the discussion needs kick-starting.
Learning how to pull off a great presentation begins in the
classroom. If you're interested in a career change, or simply looking
to expand your skill set, you can visit TAFE NSW and see the wide
variety of courses on offer.