to get ready for the presentation

Updated February 15, 2021 - Dom Barnard

This guide covers everything you need lớn know lớn prepare for your presentation. including what you need lớn think about beforehand, during and after the presentation.

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1. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse (always aloud)

Once you have your presentation worked out, you will need lớn practice it, but even though you might think it’s the best way lớn have a flawless presentation, don’t memorise what you’re going lớn say.

That might sound lượt thích incredibly bad advice, but here’s why:

  • If you memorise your speech, you’ll get stuck in thinking you can only deliver your ideas in that way, and that stifles your creativity, and the chance for new thoughts and ways lớn put things that come up as you speak.

Not only that, but every audience is different. Sometimes they laugh out loud, sometimes they sit and smile, and you never know which type of audience you’ll have until you’re live.

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If you’re going off a memorised presentation, it’s much more difficult lớn break away from that lớn go with the flow on the day, and respond naturally lớn your audience.

  • If you forget your speech in the middle of it, you will be thrown, and you’ll have more chance of complete brain freeze, which really will knock your confidence.
  • Memorising your presentation gives you a false sense of security, which could leave you high and dry if something goes wrong. If you’ve only got your memorised speech, for example, what will you bởi if your PowerPoint freezes or your props break, and you can’t bởi what you were going lớn do?

Rehearse in front of colleagues, friends, a mirror, in virtual reality – always aloud. Make sure you spend plenty of time practising your presentation, it will make you feel much more relaxed if you know your material.

Courses where you can rehearse with interactive exercises:

  • Essential Public Speaking
  • How lớn Present over Video

Video showing how you can prepare for your presentation using virtual reality. Learn more about virtual reality training.

2. Memorise your opening line

Do, however, memorise your opening line. If you know how you’re going lớn begin, you’ll get a strong start and that will build your confidence.

Many speakers and stage actors find that the minute they’ve actually delivered their first line, the nerves are gone and they’re well into their stride.

3. Practise your speech from written notes

Writing your presentation out in your own handwriting will help you clarify your ideas and may well bring you new ones.

  • How lớn Write a Speech lớn Engage your Audience

4. Practise presentation flow

As well as practising for the ideas and what you want lớn say, practise how you want your presentation lớn flow. Think of it almost as a symphony, with high points, slow movements and crescendos. If it’s important, think about how you want your audience lớn feel, what emotions you want them lớn have, and when.

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5. The power of silence

Don’t be afraid lớn pause and use the power of silence. A good pause can have a huge emotional impact. It allows people lớn really absorb what you are saying and react, and it’s vital lớn pause if you’re using humour sánh that the next part of your presentation doesn’t get lost underneath people’s laughter.

For more on the 'Power of the Pause', watch this short from đoạn Clip Brian Tracy: The Power of the Pause

  • 10 Effective Ways lớn use Pauses in your Speech

6. Have a backup

There’s nothing worse than thở the projector dying or finding that your máy vi tính won’t communicate with the projector for some reason. If you know you have a backup, even if it’s only a pre-prepared flip chart, you’ll feel better, and you’ll be more confident.

7. Arrive early

Following on from that, arrive at least half an hour early sánh you aren’t feeling rushed, and sánh you have time lớn kiểm tra your equipment and get your notes laid out ready lớn go. That gives you time lớn breathe and relax before you go on, knowing everything is as mix as it can be.

8. Use physical props for a demo

Use physical props, if possible, for a phác thảo. This can make you stand out and be more memorable among all the other speakers who only use PowerPoint, and it can add greatly lớn the impact of your presentation.

Video showing an example of using physical props during a live phác thảo.

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9. Structure your presentation

First, find out how much time you have lớn present, is it 10 minutes, 15, an hour? Prepare enough material for this time and have a couple of extra slides as backup – we tend lớn speak much quicker when nervous sánh you might find you finish your presentation too early. At some large conference events, timings may change on the day, be aware of this have a shorter version of your presentation in mind (i.e. know which slides lớn skip over).

  • How lớn Structure your Presentation, with Examples
  • Examples of Corporate Presentation Structures

10. Prepare for questions

Have a few backup slides for questions you think will arise from your presentation. It is sometime a tactic lớn explain a section briefly in your speech, sánh that you get a question about it afterwards. If you don’t understand the question, ask for it lớn be rephrased.

If there are no questions, it is not an indication how good or bad your presentation was. You many have explain your material extremely well, or simply that people are tired at the over of the day and want lớn go home page.

  • Guide for Handling Questions after a Presentation

11. Prepare for where you are presenting

If you can, go lớn the room you are speaking in before the actual sự kiện. It gives you an idea of furniture layout, podium height, location, room size, audience size and lighting. You can then visualise the room while practising and avoid the shock of suddenly being faced with a huge room when you expected a tiny one.

Ask the organiser if you need any particular props, for example a table lớn help with your live phác thảo.

Additional planning lớn think about before your presentation:

1. Purpose – what outcome are we trying lớn achieve? How can results be measured? What will success look like?

2. Topic – Novelty? Complexity? Technical?

3. People – Who should attend? What bởi they already know? How are they going lớn help?

4. Timing – When will it happen and how long will the presentation take?

5. Location – Where will the presentation be held? Do you have access lớn the correct facilities for the presentation?

6. Papers – Who is keeping minutes? Do you need lớn send out an agenda before the presentation? Background information required?

7. Visual aids – Is a projector required? Boards?

8. Style – Structure or unstructured, discussion style? How assertive should you be? How should the meeting items be organised?

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12. Choose the signals lớn give lớn your audience

Before the presentation, think about these 5 topics:

  1. Voice
  2. Pace
  3. Eye contact
  4. Facial gestures
  5. Body language

Decide how you will use each of these lớn reinforce your message. Use the table below for help.

Passive Aggressive Assertive
Voice Flat, monotonous, trails off, shaky, hesitant. Sharp, cold, loud, shouts, abrupt, clipped, fast. Controlled, firm, warm, rich, clear, even, loud.
Pace Ers and ums, jerky, too slow, too fast. Fast, emphatic, blameful, abrupt, erratic, hurried. Steady and controlled, changes easily.
Eye Contact Evasive, looking down, darting, low eye liên hệ. Stares and glaring, dominating, fixed gaze, threatening. Firm not fixed, natural and relaxed.
Facial Gestures Fixed smile, apology facial gestures, blinking, blushing, chewing lip. Set face, few smiles, clenched jaw, frowning, chin forward, lips tight, gritted teeth. Open, varied and congruent expressions, calm, jaw relaxed, few blinks, smiles.
Body Language Hunched, hand over mouth, arms crossed, head down, slumping, legs crossed, stands awkwardly, soft handshake. Thumping, clenched fists, pointing, pacing, leaning forward, sharp and rapid movements, crushing handshake. Open hand and arm movements, head upright, calm, emphatic gestures, relaxed, head nodding lớn show attention, firm handshake.

Additional courses lớn help you prepare for your presentation:

  • Presentation Skills Training Courses

Practice Presentation Skills

Improve your public speaking and presentation skills by practicing them in realistic environments, with automated feedback on performance.

Learn More

Example from Steve Jobs

Think about these 10 techniques while you are preparing your presentation.

10 presentation techniques Steve Jobs used

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  1. Planning in Analog. Tell a story, create stunning visuals and videos lớn complement đoạn Clip, use demonstrations and other speakers, keep the audience engaged.
  2. Creating a Twitter-Friendly Description Single mô tả tìm kiếm sentence, condensed his message into 140 characters.
  3. Introduce the Enemy Story needs villains or a problem lớn be solved. Jobs highlighted IBM and useless mobile phones (during iPhone release) as his villains.
  4. Focusing on Benefits Keep reinforcing the benefits of your product, create top 10 lists, understand this is what customers care about.
  5. Sticking lớn Rule of Three Classic Literary technique, things are best remembered and reinforced in threes. Read this article on Literary Techniques for more detail.
  6. Sell Dreams, Not Products Create a vision people believe in, create a vision which will make people’s lives better
  7. Create Visual Slides Use as few words as possible and use colourful graphics on the slide lớn highlight points.
  8. Make Numbers Meaningful Compare large numbers lớn things people understand.
  9. Use Plain English Use easy lớn say and easy lớn remember words, keep it simple.
  10. Large Reveals Due lớn Apple secrecy, Jobs was able lớn deliver unexpected products lớn the world at his product launches.