How to Instantly Improve Your Next Presentation

Do you want to make sure your next presentation is as good as you can make it? This articles gives 7 ways to instantly improve your presentation so that you hold your audience’s interest, get your point across, and leave your audience wanting more.

1. Have one main point you can say in one sentence.

If you can’t describe your presentation’s main point in one sentence, your audience will likely not know what your point is either.

If possible, decide in advance what your point will be. But even if you’ve already prepared your talk, you can still choose a single point that pulls it all together.

If this article were a speech, the main point would be: You can instantly improve any presentation using these 7 simple techniques.

Ask yourself: If an 8-year-old asked you what your presentation was about, how would you answer them? Your answer is probably your main point. If you couldn’t give them an answer, spend a few more minutes quickly clarifying what your speech is all about. It’s the single best step you can take to improve your presentation.

2. Give structure to your presentation to make it easier to follow.

When we listen to a presentation, we don’t know what’s coming next unless the speaker tells us. We can’t know the next word or the next sentence. Unlike an article reader, your audience can’t glance ahead to see where you’re going. They also can’t re-read a paragraph they missed because if they do, they won’t hear what you say next.

What’s the solution?

Give them a structure they can follow. The classic outline is to “tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, and then tell them what you told them.”

But here are other ways to add structure to your talk:

Use chronological order: first, next, last; or past, present, and future. Talk about problems, solutions, and results. Focus on priorities, going from most important to least. Compare myths and reality. Use a familiar analogy where the parts of your talk correspond, such as the roots, trunk, and leaves of a tree. These are just a few ways to add structure to make your presentations easier to follow.

3. Ask questions that engage the audience.

One of the best ways to improve a presentation is to involve the audience. Instead of talking to them or at them, turn it into a conversation. One of the easiest ways to do this is to ask questions.

Asking questions gets people thinking and responding to you, at least inside their minds. With a small audience you may ask a few people to raise their hands or call out their answers. But even with 1,000 people you can ask questions and have 1,000 people coming up with answers in their own minds. Each will engage in their own inner conversation with you.

4. Speak as though you are talking to one person.

If you have ever heard a speaker who seemed to talk directly to you, it’s probably because they were. Even if you didn’t notice it, they probably always spoke as though they were one-on-one with each member of the audience.

How can you do this when you’re standing in front of dozens or even hundreds of people? You never address the group as a whole. You don’t say, “Everyone here…” or “all of you…” You say everything as though you were speaking to one person. This is a subtle but powerful difference.

5. Speak in short sentences.

If you want to drastically improve how well your audience pays attention and understands what you say, speak in shorter sentences than usual. Many of us tend to ramble a bit. In natural conversation, it’s common to use run-on sentences linked together with the words “and,” “so,” “or,” or “but.” Force yourself to use shorter sentences. This will make it much easier for your audience to stay with you. And it will also keep you from losing track of where you were going with your sentence. You will communicate more clearly.

6. Add variety to your voice.

Many speakers, especially men, talk with a monotone when they give presentations. They are either nervous or so focused on covering the content that they forget to speak with variety.

The solution is to pay special attention to adding vocal variety when you speak. One technique is to imagine that you are reading a children’s story. Use that same kind of variety that comes naturally when reading a story. Another approach is to pretend you are talking to a friend about something you are excited or feel strongly about. Give your voice some color and your audience will appreciate it–and they will stay much more interested.

7. Tell stories and give examples.

People love stories as long as they are relevant. You can improve your next presentation dramatically by adding a story or two that illustrates your points. I remember a time when I was speaking to a group of teachers, and I told them how my first grade teacher had changed my life by encouraging my parents to get help for my speech impediment. As a result, I speak without any impediment even though I was barely understandable when I started first grade.

That’s an example of using a story to create more interest and engagement.

Start adding stories to your presentations and your audiences will perk up and take interest. And if they don’t remember anything else you say, they will remember your stories.

Presentation Skills: What Is Your Message?

When you are preparing a presentation, one of the first things to do is to focus on your message.

Think of your message as the one thing you’d like the audience to remember from your presentation. State it in one sentence, if you can – think of it as fitting on a headline of a newspaper or a billboard.

What’s the one thing stated, succinctly, in one sentence, that you’d like the audience to take away from your presentation? Whether you are talking for ten minutes or an hour, what would you like the audience to remember?

If we were to interview the audience after your presentation and ask, “What was the point of that presentation? What was the message?” would they all say the same thing? They may describe it using different words, but in essence, it should be the same content.

We’d want them to say, “Well, the point of that was to understand the three reasons for not moving ahead with this project now.” Or,”Well, the purpose of that presentation was so he could explain his management philosophy, and how he’s going to lead the team.” Or, “The purpose of that was to explain the first quarter numbers, and why they are not as good as we expected.”

So before you start putting together your material, your outline, and your slides, it’s important for you to be clear on your message. State it in one or two sentences and write it on the top of your notes or outline.

Because, if you’re not clear about exactly what you’re trying to communicate, it’s going to be very difficult for the audience to understand it.

The Best Wedding Anniversary Presents Ever

A wedding anniversary is a remembrance of the incredible years that you have spent together, the joys that you have shared with each other and the troubles that you wiped from each other’s lives. This big day is about celebrating the love that exists between you and your partner, and making them realise the importance which they have in your life. And if you surprise them with some incredible wedding anniversary presents to make this day even more special, they will be a lot happier as well.

Here are some great anniversary gifts for men and women.

Flowers

Flowers are a great way to represent your feelings to your significant other. So whether it has been just a year since you were together or whether it has been twenty years, a beautiful smelling bouquet will ignite the same feelings that you had on your first ever date.

Just remember one thing in this; every flower represents an emotion, and if you can utilise this concept into creating a bouquet, you will be able to let your partner know of all the feelings that you have had for them.

Watches

A watch is another great present for your partner that will make them realise just how valuable they are to you. True this does not exactly have anything to do with love but it still can be considered a great gift because your partner can use it everyday.

Vacation

A getaway to a distant place can truly reignite the initial spark and love in your relationship, and when you do it on your wedding anniversary, it is even better. Try to go to the place where you had your honeymoon to refresh all your wonderful memories of the past. And if you are short on budget, you could just go to another great place nearby like an inexpensive beach hotel or the like.

Spa Vouchers

Small issues in everyday life can build up a lot of stress on a person’s mind. So why not invest in a rejuvenating spa hamper and let your partner relax after an extremely tiring day at work? You can even go to a couple’s spa and relax together.

Dinner

A dinner at a restaurant that offers tasty food is one of the best wedding anniversary gifts ever. You can even make it more special by arranging a candlelight meal and asking the band to play soft music in the background.