1. Be conciseIf your audience knows you can’t see them in the same way as if you are in a lecture theatre they have opportunities to be distracted – emails, people in the room, coffee rounds or even a television in the background. Try to hold their attention by making comments count – less waffle, more action points. Use small but powerful nuggets of information. Try not to drift off point. Rehearse your presentation to see if it is effective.
2. Be aware of the visual messageHave awareness of your dress code and what it says. Similarly look carefully at your background or studio. How much of you needs to be on camera? Head and shoulders shots can work for instance, or if there is more than one presenter – both sitting at a desk. Get advice and /or hire a professional studio or production company if you can. If you are using slides, ask yourself if they can be more visually effective with graphics and imagery. Sometimes less is more – a slide with a single phrase, quotation, image or piece of advice can illustrate your point in a way it can be remembered.
3. Project yourselfThe art of delivering an interesting presentation is largely about your voice. Talk from the chest, be efficient in your sentences, don’t hunch over and do try to project confidence. Sometimes, pause for effect – a little silence can underline what you have said. Summarise sections of your presentation in three points if possible – for instance, ‘a presentation should be punchy, powerful and perfectly timed.’ People often notice the way you are presenting as much or even more than the words. For this reason, to be believed, trusted and an authority you need to convey this in your tone and pitch of voice and in the delivery of your message.
4. Be mindful of your body languageIf you fold your arms you are being defensive and if you present your wrists you are ‘openly’ communicating for instance. If you pat the back of your head you are being submissive but if you link your hands and have your arms wide behind your head you are being dominant. Politicians have a trick of pointing at things or people without their index finger extended (in a closed fist with thumb pointing) as this is seen as less rude. You should look at the camera, sit up straight and use your hands to a degree to articulate your message with enthusiasm – making sure that you are not being defensive or arrogant in gestures. A bonus of cultivating positive body language is that you become aware of it yourself and it makes you feel more confident as you deliver the presentation.
5. Give opportunity for feedbackIf possible – have a Q&A session at the end and make sure that the questions are answered to satisfaction before moving on whilst allowing time for a few questions from different people. For questions not answered leave an email contact if you need to wrap up the session. This article was written by Richard Forsyth at Varn Media, a website design and SEO company.
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