• Natasha Cruz

The Power Behind Your Presentations

So, it’s time to power up for a successful presentation! Let’s review some basics.

Know the difference between a presentation and a speech. A presentation usually has visual aids, whereas a speech is more reliant on the spoken word. Presentations are generally aimed at an audience in the interest of teaching or influencing them to take some kind of action.

Visual aids are fun and often easy to use. But they can sometimes be the crutch that cripples a presentation. Slides and graphics can certainly help explain the particulars. They also help to pace a speaker and keep them talking chronologically through a topic. But presenters who are overly dependent on slides may end up focusing more on the images they are presenting than the audience itself.

Use the 10/20/30 Rule for PowerPoint Presentations. This simple little formula that says we should present no more than 10 slides that will last no more than a total of 20 minutes to explain and contain no font smaller than 30 points helps to create a structure for our presentations.

And what should we do with the rest of our presentation time? This is where you, the presenter and public speaker, come to the forefront. In the end, it is what you have to say that really matters. Develop your skills by planning and practicing your delivery. You are rendering the stage presence of your topic through your words, demeanor and the speaking style you portray.

Follow these guidelines faithfully.

1) Remember your story is more important than any mistake you may make on stage.

2) Nervousness is common (90% of all humans are afraid of public speaking). Accept presenting will be a process and move through!

3) Show your passion and connection to your topic. If it matters to you, it will matter to your audience.

4) Smile and make eye contact. It’s important to recognize those who came to hear you. Tell stories. A good anecdote or joke can take the stiffness out of most any topic.

5) Ask someone to critique you as you practice. Listen with an ear to learn.

6) NEVER beat yourself up if you don’t perform as you expected. Instead, choose to learn from both the good and the bad for the next time.

The Power in Presentations is YOU!

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