A chance to share knowledge and demonstrate skills, presentations play an important part in academic and professional success. For business students, effective presentations can help secure good grades – and ultimately, a leadership role in the business world.
While the best presenters are often thought to possess natural charm and public speaking abilities, their success is more often a matter of careful planning, critical thinking and – above all – practice. The most engaging presenters are at ease at the podium, confident that their content is reaching the audience. This confidence may be attained with a few tips and strategies, adaptable to presentations of all scales and styles.
Are you curious to know what makes the best presentations so engaging? Keep reading for essential presentation tips that can be useful in both business school and the workplace.
The Best Presentations are Succinct and Carefully Structured
The proper structure helps presenters ensure maximal impact, in clear view of their audience’s needs. Among the most neglected planning steps, presenters should distil their message to its most essential form. The thirty-second elevator pitch is a helpful metric, testing whether your message could be conveyed to busy executives in an elevator.
Others prefer the written word, and condense their message to fit on the back of a business card. These tests help presenters establish the utmost concision – a crucial component of effective public speaking. A concise message helps audience members maintain their focus and remember the presenter.
A good structure will help ensure audience engagement
Presenters are advised to communicate this essential message early. A strong start engages listeners and demonstrates why they should pay attention. In the first two to three minutes, speakers should steer clear of extended personal histories and instead address their presentation’s outcomes. As they arrive at these outcomes in their talk, the best presenters always relate these back to their essential message. Strong presentations tell a story, building on each successive point and relating everything back to the narrative whole.
The Right Disposition Helps Presentations in Business School and Beyond
Complementing a well-structured presentation, the speaker’s disposition is just as important. A pleasant and engaged demeanor helps speakers eliminate worries and distractions, inviting audiences to think through and internalize their content. Speaking clearly to their established points, the best presenters make regular eye contact and smile where appropriate. While scripts can help maintain structure, speakers should remember to modulate their speech – and avoid simply reading prepared statements with no audience interaction.
Presenters have greater effect when they gesticulate and move freely from the podium or projection screen. Eliminating physical barriers with the audience helps maintain engagement and initiate discussion. While interacting with their audience, seasoned presenters maintain a warm but professional tone, thanking listeners for their input even when it challenges their positions. In business school and beyond, the best presentations reveal the speaker’s genuine interest and enjoyment for the subject. By letting their passion show, presenters foster an atmosphere of exploration and learning.
Top Presenters Know How to Use Tech Tools
An evolving component for presentations of all styles, technology has transformed the way public speakers convey information. Yet, like all tools, presentation tech is only an advantage in the right hands. Technology should always enhance the speaker’s message, rather than distract from it. The best speakers use screens sparingly, and include visuals only to better communicate their points. Students at business universities should evaluate any charts, graphs and images they plan to include to determine whether they are in fact adding to their overall message.
Top Business pros like Toghrul Gahramanzada find the presentational advantages in technology
For PowerPoint presentations, speakers can increase mobility with handheld remotes, which help focus audience attention on the person rather than the tech. Students should also note that with a Keynote or PowerPoint presentation open, pressing the ‘B’ key will turn the screen blank. This can help gather attention during a digression or question period, eliminating the possible distraction of already-discussed visuals. While selecting a template, presenters are advised to choose an eye-catching but simple format that will keep attention on them and their content.
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