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What to ask yourself before giving a presentation

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What to ask yourself before giving a presentation


Do you get stressed when it comes time give a presentation?

Presentations can bring on a wave of anxiety as they are usually given to a group of strangers and this is when first impressions are made. To ensure a good first impression and to deliver a successful presentation, you need to make sure that it is impactful and engaging. You don’t want to give a boring presentation, and lose the attention of your audience.

So, how do you deliver an appealing presentation that results in good first impressions and a responsive audience?

Here are a few questions you need to ask yourself before your presentation:

What is the problem that you are solving?

If you want to ensure that your audience is engaged in your presentation, you need to know and understand the problem you are solving for them.

Are you giving a production presentation about automated software that makes a task easier for your audience? Or are you giving a sales presentation to help train your sales team in in their product knowledge?

Recognise the problem you are solving.

You may think that it is perfectly clear, but it may not be as clear to your listeners. You need to ensure that you and your audience are on the same page and understand the context of the presentation – this means that you need to say exactly what problem you are addressing from the get-go.

Why are you presenting this now?

Leveraging off the previous point, you need to explain why this problem needs to be solved at this point in time. Remember, there are a lot of other areas you could be addressing, but why is this most important for now?

You need to explain to your audience that certain things need to be addressed now and you can’t hold off discussing and fixing them. This will ensure your audience understands the importance of the presentation and why they need to engage and listen.

How was this presentation idea examined?

You need your audience to understand the way you came to this presentation. Many people assume that you just came up with it yourself.
You need to be clear that this presentation is the result of hard work, research, and deep consideration. Did you survey customers, conduct focus groups, or consult with professionals? Let your audience know!

Have you been able to simplify your presentation?

When you are giving a presentation, you have spent so much time learning the topic that you are inundated with information and know a whole lot about it. The problem with this is that the people you are presenting to do not have the same understanding that you have on the topic. With this in mind, the content may go over their heads without you realising it. Always take this into consideration when putting together your presentation. You can always practice it to a friend, colleague, or spouse and ask them if they could follow what you were saying, and make sure they understand it enough to explain it back to you.

Are you telling a story in your presentation?

It doesn’t matter what it is you are presenting, you can always add an engaging story to drive the point home. Even if you are presenting something often considered dry and boring, for example: fixing an IT bug. You can add a personal, fictitious or relatable story to this presentation and show your audience how this bug is causing issues in their day to day lives and how fixing this bug will benefit their lives going forward.

A small anecdote about how your service or product will impact a person’s life will always drive its importance home.

Have you got a strong call to action?

The call to action (CTA) is the most important part of the presentation, and is often forgotten. If you are giving a sales presentation, your call to action is as simple and straightforward as “buy this product.” For other presentations, the CTA may not be that obvious, for example: share a particular post or test a service and provide us with feedback. Regardless of what your CTA is, you need to make sure that it is clear as day. Make it explicit and close the presentation off by telling them exactly what you would like them to do.

In Conclusion:

Giving a presentation can be a stressful situation, but it doesn’t have to be. The key is to go into your presentation fully prepared. Ask yourself the above questions, and you will be able to walk into your presentation with your head held high.

Masterskill offers the following courses to assist you in expanding your presentation skills:

AXO84-079SG Technical Presentation Skills, Revised Edition
CCT-013-S Effective Presentation Skills, Third Edition
CCT-148-S The 80/20 Guide to Effective Presentations, First Edition
COT-SP8-S Presentations: Preparing, Developing, and Delivering, First Edition
ELK88-894SG Public Presentations


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