When you are delivering presentations to a general audience as a senior management in your company, or a venture capitalist, it is not just about the PowerPoint slides you create. It has much more to it. This article guide offers you a deep insight into the process of planning a very effective presentation. It will focus on the importance of the presenter-audience relationship with the and at the same time suggest you the key strategies for making an impact.
An Effective presentation
An effective presentation is said to make the best use of this relationship between the presenter and his audience. It fully takes the consideration of the audience’s needs. It effectively captures their interest, inspire their confidence, develop understanding and achieve the presenter’s objectives.
Careful planning is essential. Here are some stages of planning a presentation:
Many factors are there to affect the design of your presentation. So, be a powerful presenter and acknowledge while addressing each of the following:
Do you know why you are making the presentation? Keep in mind what you wish to achieve and what you need your audience to learn. So, once you decide your objectives, you find a much better position to make the strategic decisions. Strategic decisions may include the design and tone of your presentation. Always ask yourself these questions:
What do I want my audience to understand?
What action do I want my audience to take following this presentation?
How to best design this presentation to meet the objectives?
A powerful presenter keeps in mind the range of interests, experiences and levels of knowledge of his audience. He needs to acknowledge these & prepare accordingly. Ask yourself these questions:
How much will my audience already know about this topic?
How to link new material to things that they might already understand?
Will I need to win them over for a particular point of view?
You may not be able to answer these questions for each and every member of your audience. At least you should have enough information. Ensure what you have targeted and your material should be at the right level of their needs. This might involve explaining them the abstract concepts with clear practical instances. Do not fail to consider the needs of your audience, lest you will fail to appeal them altogether.
The venue of your presentation is also as important. Big lecture theatre usually create a formal atmosphere. Similarly, a seminar room might create a less formal tone.
Ask yourself questions like-
Where to make the presentation?
What kind of atmosphere will the physical conditions form?
what kind of atmosphere do you wish to create?
How might the arrangement of the room affect my relationship with audience?
What can I do anything to change the room arrangement to suit my
What audio-visual aids to use?
You might have been given a remit for any presentation which orders you to stick to some points. Ask yourself questions like-
How much time is allocated to you?
What if you are required to stick to a common format or style?
Do you have any guidelines been set regarding the content of the presentation (a pre-determined title, or a fixed amount of overhead transparencies)?
Choosing your main points
Once thought about the design of presentation, define the main points. Try to present not more than three main points if it is a ten-minute presentation. Always give time for an adequate and complete introduction and conclusion. It is difficult for your audience to understand a very complex argument without significant help from the presenter. A powerful presentation conveys information in a structured and logical manner, building on previous point and avoiding the large jumps in sequence. Ask yourself these questions:
What are the main points to make?
Are these points structured in a logical and coherent way?
Do these main points reflect your objectives?
Can these points make account of the needs of your audience?
Choosing your supporting information
An appropriate information will help your audience to understand, agree with and believe in your main points. This evidence can take the form of factual data, an explanation of process or points of detail. It can be presented by ways using diagrams, pictures or video segments.
Try to think about:
What things will add clarity to your argument?
What things will add authority to the argument?
What will add the colour to your argument?
Establishing linking statements
In the next stage develop the linear flow of your presentation. It can be achieved by making use of linking statements in order to clearly show how the main points fit together. The most common linking statements are:
“The next stage of our project was to— “;
“Here is another important issue to consider—”;
Such linking statements directly send signals to your audience. These highlight the next point in your argument thereby linking to earlier ideas. This is of particular importance in a lengthy presentation. Here even the most effective presenter will have to work hard in order to keep an audience involved.
Developing an opening
Introduction to presentation is crucial. It is presenter’s first point of contact with his audience. Presenter can either capture or lose his/her audience’s interest in a matter of seconds. Use your introduction in order to give a clear foundation for the presentation to follow. Use the following structure:
Firstly, introduce yourself;
State a title or about your subject area;
Also tell that how you will be talking about it;
Tell what you intend to the outcome of your presentation to be (an informed
group, a lively discussion);
Give an idea of what you expect your audience to do (listen, ask questions, take notes, read a handout, before /during/ after).
Do not forget to give your audience some moments to take in this information before moving towards your first main point.
Developing a conclusion
The conclusion is yet another important stage in your presentation. You may use it to remind the audience of your main points. Draw these points for a stimulating conclusion & leave the audience with a lasting impression regarding the quality of your presentation.
Reviewing your presentation
Once written your presentation, make sure to review its content.
Ask yourself questions:
Does this presentation meet my objectives?
Is the presentation logically structured?
Have I targeted the material at the right level for the audience?
Is it too long or too short?