Last weekend, I attended a presentation on entrepreneurship offered by a software business venture. The presenter was by no means a speaker by profession but the young, promising CEO of the company.
You can easily notice he isn’t the seasoned speaker you often see on TED talks. Yet, he was able to capture the audience’s attention as well as deliver an effective presentation.
I was wondering, how can he, a busy CEO have the time and energy to craft such great presentations? How can he deliver an awesome presentation within a limited time while moving from one city to another to conduct it? And more importantly, is this something we can do too?
As he goes through his presentation, I have observed the following which answered my questions and which we can all learn from too:
#1: Speak about what you’re good or interested at
Of course this guy can deliver a compelling presentation; He’s talking about something he knows best: entrepreneurship. Despite not being a professional speaker, his confidence exudes from knowing the subject cold. On the contrary, nothing erodes confidence more than being unsure of what you’re talking about.
#2: Practice beforehand, even in the simplest forms
The speaker shared how much he’s been rejected at the start by all kinds of investors. But all isn’t lost. Because aside from free investor advice he got, he was able to hone his presentation skills along the process. Next time, he knows better how to present his ideas to be more persuasive and accurate. Likewise, use even the simplest opportunities to improve your presentation skills.
#3: Less is more
He simply captured the main idea from each point and placed that on a single slide. The rest of the information, he talked more about it on his own. Short, simple sentences or phrases in large, easy-to-read font and color for each slide not only make doing the slides easy for him; they also make the presentation more catchy and effective.
#4: Design your presentation, not decorate it
For many of us, it’s always tempting to fill up “dead” space in a big white slide. This temptation often leads us to mistakenly insert additional texts, images, arrows, etc. But these will only make your slides look crowded. Instead, the speaker placed messages at strategic spots for more impact. An example is using a quote that sums up about 3-4 sentences of what he intends to say. He simply placed this in the center and removed everything else.
#5: Offer ideas, not just facts
I attended this presentation hoping to be inspired by the speaker’s message and insights. If I only wanted to gather facts, then I could’ve just stayed at home and read a similar book. Your audience expects the same. They want to know your perspective. They’re interested in how you can weave your content in a more personal, story-like but expert approach.
So not only will these tips help you save an enormous amount of time, they will also serve your purpose of creating an impactful and amazing presentation. At the same time, you can look and act a speaker by profession, even if you really aren’t.
What other ways do you know of to deliver professional presentations? Let us know through your comments below.