We know how it is- you’ve been told you have to do a presentation and you’re feeling anxious, worried, and like you have failed already, and you haven’t even got down to the content of the presentation yet! We’ve included 5 steps to ensure you’ve covered all of the bases for your presentation to be a success.
Develop A Narrative
If you think about giving a presentation very broadly, all it is there for is to get a message across to your audience. So, the first place to start is to think about what this message will be. Once you have thought about the main take-home message of your presentation, you can begin to build a narrative (story) around that. Most people find things easiest to understand in story form, where your presentation has a logical order of a beginning, middle, and end.
Understand Your Audience
Wondering what your audience is thinking can be confusing, but it is even worse to confuse your audience! Make sure the language you are using is suitable. For example, if you are talking to people who don’t know much about science, it is best to steer away from really scientific terms.
Work On Yourself
Thinking about how you position yourself whilst giving your presentation is a good idea- would you prefer to stand behind something? Would you prefer to sit down? It might be helpful for you to take a look at the venue beforehand. Also, consider your posture and whether or not you want to make eye contact or instead find a focus point in the room to keep yourself calm.
A lot of people think that your slides are your presentation, but your slides are simply an aid to your presentation, so don’t rely on them too much (Don’t read your slides word for word!). You can try interesting slide designs, but the most important thing is to double-check your spelling and grammar and to make sure that your slides work on whichever device you will be giving your presentation on.
Sometimes, you might only have a limited amount of time to give your presentation. Worrying about the timing and flow of your presentation can make things worse, so the best thing you can do is practice at home with a stopwatch. Keep in mind that, on the day, adrenaline will make you talk a little bit faster, so always take this into account!
The most important thing to remember is to stay calm, and even if it goes wrong it is not the end of the world!