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.
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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Michel Besner has been successful for more than 15 years in bringing to market innovative products and solutions for the film, games development, video, broadcast, web, mobile messaging, and architectural market spaces. A leading visionary, Michel co-founded and was the President and CEO of Kaydara, developers of MotionBuilder, HumanIK Middleware and the FBX 3D interchange file format. MotionBuilder is a revolutionary real-time 3D animation software that has been used in movies such as The Matrix Trilogy, Lord of the Rings Trilogy and recently was an instrumental piece in the development of the virtual cinematography and motion capture used in Avatar. MotionBuilder was also used in AAA games such as EA Sports’ 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa, Rockstar Games’ Grand Theft Auto IV, Epic Games Gears of War 2 and Ubisoft Assassin’s Creed.
Alias Systems acquired Kaydara in 2004 where Michel served as Vice-President of Business Development. Autodesk later acquired Alias in 2006 with Michel taking the responsibility of the 3D entertainment and design visualization portfolio (3ds Max, Maya, MotionBuilder, HumanIK, FBX). Afterwards, Michel moved into the mobile messaging market by joining OZ Communications as Senior Vice President Marketing. Nokia acquired OZ in November 2008.
Michel won several awards including Personality of the Year – 2003/2004 by the Québec Federation of IT (FIQ - Fédération de l’Informatique du Québec). Michel holds a bachelor degree in Computer Engineering from l’Ecole Polytechnique de Montréal and enjoys the good things in life such as collecting wine, playing golf and tennis as well as traveling. Michel is married and has 4 kids.
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