Look at any list of the top 10 fears of people and the fear of public speaking will undoubtedly be at the top of any list. In a world where content marketing is becoming ever more important, the need to not only write the content, but present it, is now even more critical for people looking to develop new business leads and position themselves and their companies as leaders in their respective industry. In this week’s Marketing Blog, I thought I would hit on some of the foundational tips to giving a presentation. We’re not launching rockets here, but after sitting through a series of presentations last week, I decided to put together my list of the top mistakes people make when giving a presentation.
1. It’s Not A Book or a Brochure. It’s a PowerPoint SlideWhen using PowerPoint to present, watch the amount of content on your slides. RULE OF THUMB: No more than seven bullets per slide and no more than seven words per bullet. When there is too much copy, the presenter tends to read and not “present.” The audience also tends to read the slide and as a result loses focus on the presenter.
2. Look Them In The Eye and Deliver
Be sure you are making continual eye contact with the audience. Don’t cling too long to reading the slides. Remember you are presenting to a room of people, not the screen. In smaller venues, establish and maintain eye contact with each member of the audience. Use eye contact to check for and confirm understanding.
3. Know, Understand and Accept Your Time Limit.
Whether its three minutes or three hours, the expectation from the audience is that you will convey the necessary information in the amount of time allotted. If you run out of time, it’s a clear sign to the audience that you were not fully prepared.
4. Are You Talking To Me?
Know your audience’s understanding of the topic and present to them accordingly. Remember, your audience does not know the topic nearly as well as you. Keep it simple for them.
5. The Dale Carnegie Approach
Tell the audience what you're going to say, say it; then tell them what you've said.
6. No, There’s Not an App for That
Make sure you know how to use the presentation software. There are few better ways to demonstrate your incompetence than failing to understand the intricacies of PowerPoint’s “back button.” Spend a few minutes with the presentation technology so that you provide a seamless presentation.
7. Looks Matter
The look and feel of a slide can be equally as important as its content in terms of making a positive impression on the audience. It should contain your company’s logo and adhere to your organization’s overall brand look and feel. Images should be appropriate and support the main ideas. Visuals should be of high quality. Low resolution pixilated images come across as unprofessional. Also, watch formatting of text and especially bullets. They should line-up and be consistent through the slide and presentation. Any charts or graphs should be easily readable by people in the back of the room.
Stop back soon for part 2. Or, if you want to learn more about our stategic marketing services, call Jonathan Ebenstein at 440-449-6800.