Have an important presentation soon? Worried about how you will perform and what kind of an image you will set for yourself? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered. Let’s look into some pointers on how to ace a presentation and how you can improve presentation practice by yourself.
How to ace your presentation?
Presentation and doing it in front of an audience can be extremely nerve-wracking. That’s okay, and normal. Before you see how you can improve how you practice for your presentation by yourself, let’s look at how to ace a presentation. Here are some pointers for you to keep in mind during your presentation that will help you ace it.
Know your audience. This is the most important step to giving a successful presentation. What are their interests? How much do they know about the topic? What do they need to know? Tailor your content to meet their needs and engage them effectively. Scared you might lose the attention of your audience if your presentation is long, read “14 Techniques To Ensure Audience Engagement Through Long Presentations”
Use visuals. Visuals can help to illustrate your points and make your presentation more engaging. But remember to keep slides uncluttered, using bullet points and visuals limitedly to avoid overwhelming your audience. Apt usage of pictures, videos and even graphs can be wonders to the effectiveness of your presentation.
Make eye contact. This shows that you are confident and engaged with your audience. Make eye contact with different people throughout your presentation.
Be organized and clear. Your presentation should have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Each point should build on the previous one and lead to the next. Use clear concise language that your audience can understand. Ensure the structure of your content is strong.
Be enthusiastic. Your enthusiasm will be contagious and will help to engage your audience. Show that you are passionate about your topic and that you believe in what you are saying.
Be prepared for questions. Try anticipating questions that your audience might ask and have answers ready. If you don’t know the answer to a question, don’t be afraid to say so.
“How to ace ANY presentation” will help you understand better the little things you can do to ace your presentation.
To improve presentation practice by yourself
- Set clear goals
- Content preparation
- Time your presentation
- Record yourself
- Delivery enhancement
- Critique yourself
- Handling mistakes
- Practice regularly
- Practice calming your nerves
- Avoid filler words
- Get expert guidance at home
- Get a virtual audience to practice with
Being able to practice and rehearse your presentation by yourself, can be such a liberating experience. It is something you can do in your own time and space and you don’t have to work around others. Let’s look into some tips that can help you enhance and improve how you practice your presentation by yourself:
Set Clear Goals
Define the purpose of your presentation. Try recollecting why you are doing the presentation and what the audience will be taking away at the end. Having clear goals will help you tailor your practice effectively.
Ensure you have done adequate research. Gather relevant information and data to support your points. Try understanding what you are talking about so that, when you are doing the actual presentation you will be able to talk from the heart.
Put together the structure that your presentation has. Ensure there is a flow between the topics that you are talking about. Try to place yourself in the shoes of the audience and understand if you will be able to understand the connections. Learn more on how to organise and improve the structure of your presentation here.
Time your presentation
Once you have your content ready, time it to check how long the presentation can go. With this knowledge, you will be able to understand if you can go ahead with it, or you can add or delete content according to your necessities. If you want to learn more on how to time your presentation, check out “11 Steps To Help You Keep Time During Your Presentation”
Now that you have your content and know the time length of it, the next step would be to record yourself. Use a phone or a laptop to videotape your practice sessions. With this, you can see yourself from an outsider’s perspective and understand your strengths and also identify areas for improvement. Both of which are advantageous to you.
Keep repeating the content of your presentation to yourself, someone else or on video. This will help you improve and get comfortable with the content you are talking about. Thus allowing you to speak from your heart.
Delivery of your presentation is all about your voice and tone modulation, body language, your eye contact. All of these help you connect to the audience and keep them engaged.
As you go back and watch your own videos, you will be able to find errors. Be honest in assessing your strengths and areas that need improvement. If you feel this is something difficult for you to do, then show the video or practice in front of someone you trust. Ask them to be as frank as possible in the assessment, because this will help you to improve after all.
Practice how to smoothly recover from mistakes or unexpected situations during your presentation. Try not to be taken aback when you make a mistake or fumble. We are human after all.
Along with being prepared beforehand, practice your presentation regularly. The more you practice the more you will familiarise yourself, and the more you will be able to deliver it.
Practice calming your nerves
One of the most critical factors that affect us during public speaking and presentations is anxiety. Being anxious about how you will perform, how others might perceive you, and how well you will be able to perform is something that plagues us all. Read more about “Overcoming Public Speaking Anxiety: Strategies For Confident Presentations” to better yourself at calming your nerves before a presentation.
Avoid filler words
Keep a tab on filler words to prevent the audience from losing interest. Read more about this at, “6 Techniques To Stop Saying Filler Words: Eliminate The Ahs & Ums!“
Start to observe and learn from the interviews of influential people and TED talkers. This will help you understand the little things that are essential during a presentation. When you observe them, you will be able to grasp certain ways of presenting that you can develop on, to improve yourself.
Get expert guidance at home
Trying to improve your presentation skills but aren’t able to understand how to do it? One way to improve is by having a professional and expert to guide you through your presentation and point out the ways you can improve. Check out our personalized coaching services, and get a 20-minute free consultation to discuss your issues and then proceed from there!
Get a virtual audience to practice with
Connecting with your friends and family might not give you a clear understanding of your presentation skills because of the obvious bias that your loved ones might have for you. So what can you do to practice with a live audience who also gives you authentic feedback? Why not join a group of fellow public speakers who are looking to practice for their upcoming speeches and presentation? You not only get a chance to present your presentation to them and get comprehensive feedback but also observe their performances and understand the audience’s POV, so as to enhance your performance in a way that is most liked by your audience! If you are looking to join one such group, connect with us here and make the best use of our group sessions!
Remember, improving your presentation practice and how effective it is is a gradual process. In fact, improvement in general takes time, so be patient with yourself. Each practice session brings you one step closer to becoming a more confident and skilled presenter. Here are 10 more tips for delivering an effective presentation.
Enhance your public speaking abilities to a much great extent with the help of our personal coaches, and check out our holistic coaching services.