15 Mar 15 ‘must know’ presentation tips!
At HBA Learning Centres our Trainers are presenting on a regular basis. With their years of experience, we have compiled a list of 15 presentation tips to help you become a better presenter.
- Don’t abuse your visuals – Usually your visuals are posters, charts, or even a PowerPoint presentation. Whatever your visuals may be, keep them simple and don’t put too many words on them. Think about the LLN (Language, Literacy and Numeracy) issues you may come across. The learners aren’t there to read your slides, they are there to listen to you present and learn from your knowledge.
- Look at the learners – If you ever wondered where you should be looking when presenting, the answer is right in front of you. Don’t just single out one person, but instead try to make eye contact with numerous people throughout the room. If you don’t do this then you aren’t engaging the audience, you are just talking to yourself. This can result in an utter lack of attention from your audience.
- Show your personality – It doesn’t matter if you are presenting to a corporate crowd or to senior citizens, you need to show some character when presenting. Show your human side. Our Trainers at HBA Learning Centres all have a welcoming and approachable personality, which creates the ideal learning environment.
- Make them laugh – Although you want to educate your audience, you need to make them laugh as well. In essence, it keeps the learners alert and they’ll learn more from you than someone who just educates.
- Talk to your audience, not at them – People hate it when they get talked at, so don’t do it. You need to interact with your learners and create a conversation. An easy way to do this is to ask those questions as well as letting them ask you questions. As mentioned earlier, the Trainers at HBA Learning Centres are engaging; ensuring a great group dynamic that speaks to you, not at you.
- Be honest – A lot of people present to the learners what they want to hear, instead of what they need to hear. Make sure you tell the truth even if they don’t want to hear it because they will respect you for that and it will make you more human.
- Don’t over prepare – If you rehearse your presentation too much it will sound like it (in a bad way). Granted, you need to be prepared enough to know what you are going to talk about but make sure your presentation flows naturally instead of sounding memorised. Usually if you ask experienced speakers what you shouldn’t do, they’ll tell you not to rehearse your presentation too much because then it won’t sound natural.
- Show some movement – You probably know that you need to show some movement when speaking, but naturally you may forget to do so. Make sure you show some gestures or pace around a bit (not too much) in the training room when speaking. People are more engaged with an animated speaker.
- Watch what you say – You usually don’t notice when you say “uhm”, “ah”, or any other useless word frequently, but the audience does. It gets quite irritating; so much that some members of the audience will probably count how many times you say these useless words.
- Differentiate yourself – If you don’t do something unique compared to all the other presenters the audience has heard, they won’t remember you. You are branding yourself when you speak, so make sure you do something unique and memorable.
- Body language– You need to be very aware of what you do and how you do it when presenting, e.g. Don’t cross your arms as that will portray you are closed and not open for discussion, hands in the pockets – can portray a very casual approach. This also includes facial expressions, e.g. if you don’t agree with something a learner says or they are simply not getting what you say – rolling your eyes to the ceiling shows intolerance.
- The Rule of Tell’em – Tell’em what you are going to tell’em, Tell it to them, and then Tell’em what you told them.
- Enthusiasm – Absolutely nothing will help your presentation more than communicating your passion and confidence. It doesn’t have to be an evangelical “Do you BELIEVE — I BELIEVE,” but the audience will recognise your belief, and confidence, and it will add credibility to your message
- Dress Professionally – Wherever you are presenting it is very important to be dressed appropriately. You must strive to always leave a good impression .
- Obtaining feedback – As mentioned previously, it is vitally important to obtain feedback on your presentations.. Without constructive feedback whether it be positive or negative you cannot continually improve your practice. We love receiving feedback. As a company we strive to provide the best service possible and that is achieved by listening to you, our learners.
At HBA Learning Centres, we practice what we preach. All of our Trainers strive to provide the best learning experience which is evident in our 94% customer satisfaction rate.