1. Be brief and impactful
The least engaging thing you can do is to read out slide after slide of text. Instead, make your points briefly and give your audience a link or supplementary notes to takeaway.
2. BLUF, not fluff
‘Bottom line up front’ (BLUF) should be a crucial part of your presentation structure. Resist the temptation to drag out your story and build up to a climax or big reveal – your audience will not appreciate this, particularly if you are pitching for funding. Stay away from gimmicks, unnecessary tricks or tech and simply back up the BLUF with data.
3. Your attitude
The way you relate to and handle your audience can be a make-or-break for the outcome you desire from the presentation. If anyone challenges your concepts or content, do not be defensive; never try to bluff your way through something you do not know; and avoid dragging out the presentation after it has run its course. Smile, keep a high energy level, speak clearly and don’t rush through your points.
4. Effective body language
Avoid fidgeting, crossing your arms and putting your hands in your pocket, as these gestures convey nervousness and defensiveness. Keep your arms relaxed and open, ready to emphasise your key messages with your hands. Smile from the outset and use eye contact to keep everyone engaged.
5. Keep it simple
If you are talking about a new technology, you could run the risk of alienating the audience by using too much technical jargon, meaning that your message and impact can easily be lost. It will help you to keep in mind that the audience simply needs to understand the viability of your proposed solution. Explain yourself accordingly.
6. Be genuine
The ability to be yourself is arguably the most important factor in effective communication and engagement with your audience. They will always be more engaged with a credible presenter than one who lacks authenticity. This means you should avoid trying to impress the audience by showing how smart you are and show your own personality instead of a wall of stiff professionalism.
7. Be dynamic
Start with a strong impact and finish strong. Make sure that the audience sees your enthusiasm and expertise for your subject. Add a personal touch and convey why the topic interests you so much.
8. Be responsive to the audience
Pay attention to how people are responding – adjust to the mood. You can plan and prepare, but once you are underway with the presentation, it is your audience that will determine whether you move past a point quickly or elaborate more. Being responsive to the peaks and troughs of audience interest is a significant determining factor in the success of your presentation.
9. Practice, practice, practice
This applies to many situations and activities. The number one way to deliver a great presentation is to practice it repeatedly. Seek feedback from a suitable test audience, make improvements and practice your delivery again until you can run through it without relying on your visual aids to prompt you.
10. Attend presentations to learn from others
Doing this will show you how seasoned presenters engage their audiences, make use of slides and bring their personality to the situation.
The Arabian Business StartUp Academy for September is featuring six speakers on the theme FinTech. This quarterly Academy is free to attend for entrepreneurs, start-ups and SME owners.
DATE: Wednesday 27th September 2017
VENUE: Westin, Mina Seyahi
TIME: 8.30am registration until 11.15am onwards for networking.
For further information SEE WEBSITEFor all the latest business news from the UAE and Gulf countries, follow us on Twitter and Linkedin, like us on Facebook and subscribe to our YouTube page, which is updated daily.
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