How To Give A Successful Presentation – How to give a great presentation at work is a key skill for any manager to learn. You regularly give presentations – informally to small groups of your team to much more formal presentations to larger audiences.

I will share 9 tips to help you improve your presentation skills so you can learn how to present like a pro at work

How To Give A Successful Presentation

How To Give A Successful Presentation

At the end of the article, I share 3 tips to help you practice the delivery of your presentation so that you present confidently and naturally.

Code For Change

If you are thinking about how to give a great presentation at work, this is the first thing you should consider

Start thinking about your audience and the information you share with your audience. What do they expect from you? Familiarity – what language and reference points are they comfortable with? What stories can they relate to?

The more in tune with your audience you can make your presentation and the better your presentation meets their needs, the more likely they will pick up on what you say and do what you ask.

What level of knowledge or understanding does your audience have about the topic you are talking about? Adjust your presentation to reflect this.

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If you were to present your marketing plan for the year to the leadership team, you would probably focus on how it will drive revenue and strengthen the company’s brand and identity.

If you present the same plan to the marketing team, you can touch on these same points and then move on to focus on what tactics, activities and projects will deliver those results. Then you can explain how each team member contributes.

If you are clear about what you are trying to achieve, you will be in a much better place to figure out how to construct your presentation to achieve your desired goals.

How To Give A Successful Presentation

Construct your presentation well and your audience will not get lost, will not be bored or distracted and will have the best chance to absorb your message or take the action you want.

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What is your key message? What are the supporting messages? Keep the number of messages you want to receive small, at least less than five. If you have more, the audience will forget half of them.

When using slides, do not include large amounts of text on each slide. If your audience tries to read it, they won’t listen to you.

Have only 1-3 bullet points on each slide with a short phrase for each. Even better is to use pictures and diagrams instead of text. What you show on the slides should highlight your key points, nothing more. During the presentation, do not read what you have written on your slides. Your audience can and will read.

If you are able to use personal stories to convey your message, this will increase the audience’s retention of what you are telling them.

Useful Tips On How To Give A Successful Presentation

If you are giving more formal presentations to larger audiences, or to groups such as the leadership team, make sure everything is working before your presentation begins.

Don’t spend the first 30 seconds of your presentation finding your slides, checking you’re connected to the big screen, your mic is working, etc. This distracts, your audience switches off or gets bored and you leave a bad first impression.

Smiling during your presentation transforms your face, your tone of voice and your connection with your audience. Laughter also reduces your nerves and makes you much more relaxed. So smile naturally during your presentation.

How To Give A Successful Presentation

I once had a lecturer who used to come in and then literally stare at the ceiling for the entire hour of his lecture. We were so distracted checking what was actually on the ceiling and making comments we missed a little of what he said.

Solution: How To Give A Good Presentation

Making eye contact with your audience is very important. Look at individual members of the audience as if you were just talking to them. Do not stare at one person, or select a few and rotate, or generally stare in the direction of the audience without selecting individual people. Try to make eye contact with every member of your audience during your presentation. Make your eye contact short and friendly. This helps your audience connect with you and focus on you and what you are saying.

We communicate with much more than just the words we say. Our tone and pace of voice, how we use our eyes, how we stand and what we do with our hands all communicate messages to our audience.

Match your tone of voice to the message you are giving. Communicate your emotions in your voice, your excitement, your enthusiasm to speak to this audience. Change the tempo of your voice to communicate your feelings as well. Be careful not to speak too quickly or too quietly – make it easy to understand what you are saying.

Stand tall, tall and confident. Pay some attention to yourself and your body language. Don’t let yourself get smaller, shake, fidget, pace too much etc.

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Use arm gestures that go out and up – towards your audience as if you are greeting them.

Also pay attention to your breathing. Deep breathing calms you down. Pauses are good especially after a key point you’ve just made – it lets the audience absorb what you’ve said before moving on to the next point you’re making.

If you show your energy, your interest in your topic and why you feel strongly about it, your audience will be more emotionally involved.

How To Give A Successful Presentation

We like to listen to people because of the emotion. Great singers include a lot of emotion and feeling in their songs. Great speakers do too.

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If you are excited about what you are talking about, the audience will be too. It’s hard not to be attracted to a person who obviously really believes what they’re saying.

To finish your presentation, think of the key message you want your audience to take away with them and repeat that message.

If you have more than one message, write a quick summary of your key messages or key insights you shared.

You can also end your presentation with an open-ended question to keep them thinking, to create further food for thought so they are more likely to remember your presentation and the key message.

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Practice your presentation from an outline. Don’t read a script or try to stick to a script in your head. Once you start with a script, keep working it down until you have several bullet points that cover each key section of your presentation. Practice your presentation with these bullet points. It sounds more natural and you won’t be stuck trying to remember what word to say.

Second, every time you practice, change only one or two points in your presentation. Do not make many improvements in one go. Too many improvements make it much harder to remember what changed, which can damage the practice you’ve already done.

Third, spread your practice sessions over time – at least over several days. This gives you a lot of time to think subconsciously and consciously about what you are presenting. Better ways to say parts of your presentation will pop into your head.

How To Give A Successful Presentation

So in summary, we’ve gone through 9 tips for giving a great presentation at work, plus three tips for how to best practice your presentation skills at work.

Acing Your Presentation

Presenting well is a core skill that affects your ability to progress in your career. Reasonable presentation skills are needed to progress through middle management and into senior management.

Take the time to practice how you present yourself at work and you will be much more confident plus you will be more likely to be seen as leadership material by those above you.

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What It Takes To Give A Great Presentation

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How To Give A Successful Presentation

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