Whether you have lots of experience presenting or just starting, the tips below should help you to improve.
Smile & make eye contact
Sounds easier than it is, but if you smile and make eye contact, you'll build a relationship with your audience, which helps them to connect with you. Making eye contact could also make you feel less nervous, as you're talking to individuals instead of a group of unknown people.
Do your homework; make sure you really understand what you're telling. Understanding your subject will help you to define how you want to tell a story and will also prepare you for possible questions, as almost every presentation ends with questions from the audience. It's also good to do several rehearsals beforehand.
Keep it short
People appreciate short meetings. Go for 20 minutes, that's usually the sweet spot. Avoid using massive chunks of text on your slides; I would recommend the rule of 10–20–30, first suggested by Guy Kawasaki from Apple: no more than 10 slides, no more than 20 minutes, and font size of no less than 30 point.
Know your audience
Shape your presentation for the audience, and for that, you have to know a bit about them. The presentation you give to designers is going to be different from the presentation you give to a CEO, even if you are talking about the same project. For instance, even though I won't recommend it, you can use jargon and acronyms towards colleagues, just make sure you avoid them when presenting to clients.
Use your body
Your body language is essential to getting the right message across. Think about it, consciously. Consider using hand gestures; this will make you come over open and confident. Smile constantly; positivity is a powerful tool to make the audience embrace your story. Avoid things like crossed arms and hands held behind your back or in your pockets.
More tips 🎁
- Show your Passion. Be passionate and honest, and the audience will respond.
- Don't use disqualifying statements. Use "it will" instead of "it may".
- Ask questions. A great way to engage with the audience.
- Don't read from a script. Rehearse a lot and make it sound natural.