My Presentation Tips & Tricks

Here is a follow-up on my latest post regarding the content of an investor presentation. Beyond the information that needs to be put into each slide, here is my top 10 list of tips when it comes to doing a presentation.

Simplify the content

Making presentation is an art form where less is better. Try to make each of your slides and clean and simple as possible. Try to extract the essence of what you are trying to say in each and every slide.

Use words that are easy to pronounce

Sounds silly but in a Province where English is most likely not your first language, try to pick words that are easy to pronounce. Be careful about words that might have a different meaning when badly pronounced (for example, saying “fuck us” when wanting to say focus). Of course, some words cannot be replaced so you just need to practice your pronunciation.

Rehearse, Rehearse, Rehearse

You never rehearse enough; don’t just try to wing it. Even the pros practice a lot their speeches and presentations. Practice your timing, practice the quality of your speech. You can do this by yourself but it is also quite valuable to practice in front of a mirror, in front of people that you are not as comfortable with, and ultimately record yourself with a camera.

Lead the presentation

Too many times, we start talking once we have flipped the slide. If you ever have noticed great speakers such as Steve Jobs, they will lead the slides; starting to talk about the content that will appear next – BEFORE the slides is displayed. This will create a better flow and prevents you from just reading what’s on each slide.

Tell a story

Presenting is very much about telling a story. Make your presentation compelling by focusing in getting your audience engaged and getting them thru a series of steps; up to the closing statement.

Take your time

By keeping the content short, you can make sure not to exceed any allocated time period. You can then make sure to take your time. Nothing worse than a rushed presentation because you have too much to say or are not sure on how long you will take.

Pause by taking a sip of water

One useful trick is to take a quick sip of water once in a while. This will allow you to take a second, make sure you are focused and composed (if you were starting to lose it). While this sip of water will feel like you have paused for a minute (or even feel like an hour), it creates just a small enough of a break to catch your breath.

No matter what happened, focus on closing strong

Even if you have fumbled plenty during the presentation, you always have a last chance upon closing. Take a deep breath and make sure you deliver a good and final message correctly. While always better to do a perfect presentation, a good finish can go a long way.

Be careful of your body language

How are you placing your hands? How is your body moving around can say a lot about your level of confidence and comfort. Make sure that you don’t do any twitching, dangling, or too many sidestepping moves. This is where recording your rehearsals with a camera can greatly help. Sometimes we are just not aware of all the things we do when we present.

Smile

Nothing worse than a presenter that is tense and looks like he is in a bad mood. If you can, remember to smile and have an upbeat attitude as you are presenting; even more when a presentation is recorded and then posted to a public website.

 

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