When you have spent months or weeks working on a presentation, you want nothing more than it to run smoothly and sans any glitches, technical or otherwise. You want to leave an impact on your audience with your presentation, here are a few tips to make sure your big day is a success and your audience is wowed by your innovative ideas:
MAKE A CHECKLIST: The first rule of having a hassle-free presentation is to keep a checklist ready beforehand. A checklist helps you remain organized and be prepared for any foreseeable hitches including weather, access to venue, non-availability of meeting room, guest speaker or co-presenter’s availability and so on. You can even include a schedule or itinerary in case your presentation is followed by a panel discussion or keynote address so you can time your slot accordingly.
ARRIVE EARLY FOR AV AND EQUIPMENT CHECK: Whether you are presenting in front of a large audience or a closed group, it is always best to check the audio-visual setup so you are not stuck with a static microphone or dysfunctional speakers. The last thing you want is having to fix the projector or a tilted screen in front of the audience. You can also contact the equipment guys a few days before the presentation to get more information about the setup and if you have any particular requirements like a lapel microphone or extra speakers or podium. Checking the pointer or clicker pre-presentation may help too.
PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT: You know you have some great ideas within those slides but the most efficient orators can also suffer from brain fade on days they don’t prepare well. Run your presentation by a trusted colleague or family member to get an extra pair of eyes take a look at the flow of the slides and suggest changes if any. Another good idea is to record yourself while presenting to evaluate areas of improvement. You can also gather a few family members and present in front of them to gauge audience response. A Q&A session with a small audience can also help in preparing for potential questions.
KEEP YOUR MONITOR READY: Making eye contact with your audience makes them feel engaged and interested in your ideas than when you are constantly looking at the screen to read from the slides. Getting your monitor ready on the podium or table for a quick glance every now and then will help you keep up with the audience without losing the plot.
BE COURTEOUS AND CALM: Charm your audience with a welcome message and a smile and that would definitely leave a good impression on them. There is always a slight possibility of a mishap even after making sure you have all bases covered, so do not lose your calm and try to fix it as soon as possible. People appreciate a level-headed approach compared to presenter who is caught unawares and is unable to handle the situation.
Lastly, once you conclude the presentation with a Q & A session, make sure to leave your audience with a nice message or call-to-action like reach me on XXXX or your email so people leave the room more informed than when they came in.
Keeping these tips handy can definitely make you better prepared and ready to conquer any obstacles that may arise and make your session a resounding success.