A lot of us have to present to groups at meetings. This can be daunting, can’t it? Whether it is just you as the expert chatting around a meeting room table, or being on stage talking to hundreds, there are some essential rules that can help get you in the right place to make sure your message gets across.
- Remember, if you interview everyone straight afterwards, 80% of people will remember something different to each other – and half will remember something you haven’t said. So, go slowly. Repeat your main message loads of different ways. And keep doing that.
- People remember the beginning and end of your talk most. Don’t neglect signposting what you are going to cover. The main body of your presentation should cover this in detail. Then summarise what you want them to take away. Old fashioned, but it works!
- Speak louder than normal. If it sounds a bit shouty in your ears, then you are getting there. This works even with microphones, but isn’t quite so needed.
- Smile. However you feel inside. Smile.
- Feel good about how you will feel afterwards – keep that applause and your finishing smile in mind before you start.
- The presentation is for the audience, not you. Hard research about what they are after – this is the essence of a well remembered talk.
- Your slides or other media are for the audience too. Death by PowerPoint is just dire. Cut, cut, cut.
- You know your words and your message. Our brains are amazing. We can remember a whole paragraph from one word – so have bullet points on cards to give you confidence.
- And remember – the audience are on your side and with you nearly all of the time. Enjoy them.