On giving great presentations

When I was being interviewed for one of my first jobs, I asked what my role would involve.  My interviewer, who later became my boss, told me that amongst other things, I would have to make presentations to clients.  He paused at that point clearly waiting for me to groan in dismay but I didn’t.  He then said he often came across people who said they hated giving presentations. 


Unlike many people, I actually like giving presentations – when I’m talking about something I like, something I worked on and something I understand fully, that is.  But even when not all of these three conditions are in place, I still like giving presentations.  And I’ve been told I give great presentations so apparently, I don’t send people right to sleep.  Here are some points that have helped me in the past and could help you too:


  • Know your stuff.  Even if you didn’t work on the presentation yourself, make sure you know the material inside out.  Doing so gives you confidence.


  • Pretend you’re talking to your friends and you’ll feel more comfortable.


  • Don’t just focus on one point in the room, look around while talking and if you’re feeling really confident, look people in the eye too.


  • If you get asked a question, be brave and say hold on, let me Google that you don’t know, that you’ll find out and get back to them or if the question isn’t clear, say so and ask the person to elaborate.


  • Make sure you’re dressed the part.  Dress the way you’re expected to but remember that in some cases, looking different from the way people expect may make you more memorable.  Make sure it’s for a good reason though.


  • Practice your presentation.  It’ll make you feel calm in front of your audience.


  • Smile!  It’ll make you feel good and make the people you’re presenting to feel good too.


What are your top tips for giving great presentations?


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