Standing up at the front of a Phuket conference venue and delivering a presentation can be extremely nerve-wracking if you don’t really know what you’re doing. If you’ve had to endure more than your fair share of boring and instantly forgotten presentations in the past, the terror goes up a few extra notches. How do you make sure people pay attention and remember your message? How do you avoid being ‘just another boring presentation’? We’ve got a few tips to get you started.
Don’t open PowerPoint (yet)
The instinct of many a presenter is to start with the slides. They’ll certainly take the most work and countless revisions to get right, then even more work to make interesting. However, allowing your plan to be directed by your slides is a one-way ticket to snoresville for your audience. Instead, you should start with making a clear outline of what you want to say and how you want to say it, then build slides to add flesh to this skeleton.
Build in time constraints
How many times have you reached the end of a presentation and heard the words “I’d hoped to have more time for Q&A” or worse, “I haven’t really had time to cover everything”? Sadly, getting the timing wrong is a very common error presenters make. Starting with your outline will certainly help in this, but you need be pretty ruthless and cut even that basic outline down to just the really important points to make sure that you can cover them in the appropriate amount of detail without either skipping pivotal aspects or overrunning your time slot.
Keep it simple
We’ve talked a lot about focussing on the important message above all else – well, it helps if that message is something simple and memorable. Obviously, if your presentation is on an extremely complex topic, there’s only so simple you can make it, but simplicity is also relative to the audience. Just make your audience come away with something they can mentally chew on for a while instead of something so complex that they leave the Phuket conference venue more confused than they entered.
Not only does practising help with getting your timing right, but it helps you to identify areas where your presentation and accompanying slides aren’t clear enough. The saying goes ‘practise makes perfect’ for a reason!
Know your presentation space
Ideally, you’ll want to check out the Phuket conference venue ahead of your presentation. This will allow you to check the equipment available and set it up properly. There’s little more humiliating than wasting the first 10 minutes of your presentation time fiddling with your laptop and trying to get the projector to work properly. Additionally, having an idea of the dimensions and structure of the stage and the rest of the room makes your rehearsals that much more effective because you can more realistically imagine yourself in the situation you’re preparing for.