How to Have Effective Presentations

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A presentation refers to giving of a lecture to a group, which acts as the audience (Labaree, 2010). A presentation is given by a person who has superior knowledge of a subject. Its aim is to pass knowledge or create awareness on a subject under discussion. However, some presentations entail proving of the presenter’s knowledge to a team of experts, for example in an interview. Presentations need adequate planning before a session. It entails organizing and working ahead to familiarize with the content of the presentation (Lucas, 2010). The speaker then has to prepare the content to present. There is also a way the presenter should conduct themselves on the day of the presentation for an effective session. It includes how to handle questions from the audience before concluding the activity. A good presenter, thus, sticks to a pre-determined pattern for an effective presentation. 

Planning

Planning of a presentation requires the speaker to familiarize oneself with relevant materials. If a person is contacted to do a presentation on a particular subject, such as marketing, they should read intensively in that area. A person with knowledge of a topic they are expected to present, has confidence, as opposed to a topic they know nothing about (Labaree, 2010). Confidence is essential for any presentation for it leads to credibility. Credibility wins the attention of the audience. 

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The presenter can also take this opportunity and familiarize themselves with the audience and the venue. It is wrong to plan for a presentation for children yet the audience comprises of adults (Labaree, 2010). Such a case leads to the irrelevancy of the content being showcased. The presenter should also acknowledge that the audience can consist of people of a different experience, interests, and level of knowledge. It is important that the presentation accommodates the variances of the present audience. 

Preparation

After planning, the speaker should then focus on the main points of the presentation. The main points are what the presenter wants the audience to take home after the session. The subtopics under the key point should be noted down for quick note (Baccarani & Bonfanti, 2015). It helps in avoiding reputation when the presenter becomes nervous. In most cases, the topic for presentation is given by the event planners. However, it is the duty of the presenter to get the details to achieve the mission of the event (Kaltenbach & Soetikno, 2016). For example, if the presentation is in a conference, there might be other activities apart from the presentation and, so, the presenter should prepare to stick to the allocated time. Working within a time frame depends on how the presenter prepares his or her points. If the time is short, the points should be less. 

The presenter should also prepare the supporting information (Baccarani & Bonfanti, 2015). It includes information that will help the audience understand the contents of the discussion. For example, the use of images, diagrams and video segments. The use of supporting information also helps the audience believe and agree with the main points (Ncsl.org, 2018). 

Presentation

On the presentation day, the presenter should be well groomed. The dress code should much the occasion. For example, it is wrong to do a presentation while on sandals yet it is an executive event. The dress code determines the impact of the presentation. A poor dress code means that the audience will not take the presenter serious (Lucas, 2010; Alexander, 2015). In another occasion, the attire might be right but poor for the occasion. For example, some attire restricts movement. Such attires should be avoided.

Introducing yourself is important. The presenter should begin by greeting the audience before introducing their name (Lucas, 2010). They should then state the topic of the presentation by giving an overview. Informing the audience of what the presentation is of help with giving them the focus of the presentation. It is important for the presenter to state what they expect of the audience at this stage. For example, listen, read a handout, take notes, or ask questions, during or after the presentation. 

The presenter should also have an audible sound. He or she should change their voice by either changing the pitch or increasing or reducing the voice (Lucas, 2010). The tactic helps with emphasizing the important words of the presentation. The speaker should also keep their eyes on the audience. Making eye contact is a gesture of confidence. They should also make sure that they make right movements, such as hand gestures or moving comfortably at the podium. It helps with avoiding the boredom of the audience.

Ponderings

Pondering refers to thinking about a subject before giving feedback or reaching a conclusion (Baccarani & Bonfanti, 2015). During a presentation, it is obvious that the audience will have questions for the presenter. Questions are essential in clarifying a point (Baccarani & Bonfanti, 2015). A presenter can get nervous during a question and answer session, resulting in giving an inappropriate answer. They are, thus, required to listen and understand the question asked by the audience. In case it is not clear, they should pardon the person asking the question to repeat. When giving an answer, the presenter should direct the response to both the person who asked and the rest of the audience. 

In other cases, the audience can ask a question that the presenter will find difficult to answer. The presenter should not answer a difficult question before giving it a thought. Thinking of the question helps in avoiding a misleading answer. In case the question is too hard, the presenter should not be afraid to admit (Fema.gov, 2014). They can do this in a clever way, such as admitting that they are also learning from the audience. A presentation is a two way with both sides benefiting from the interaction. 

Prestige

Ending the presentation is an essential part of the interaction. The presenter can approach the end of the presentation by calling the audience to action (Baccarani & Bonfanti, 2015). He or she should not assume that the presentation will inspire the audience automatically, they should tell the audience to act on the information provided. The presenter can also paint a picture of how good things will be if the audience takes action. 

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The presenter should then give a summary of what the presentation entailed (Baccarani & Bonfanti, 2015). For example, the key points can be repeated in a linear repetition by the audience. The strategy helps in making clear that the interaction is about to end. The presenter can then thank the audience for giving out contact detail. It is important the presenter issues out the means in which they can be contacted in case of a further clarification. The presenter should then make it clear that the interaction is over before thanking everyone once again.

Conclusion

Planning and preparation of a presentation are of essential. The presenter identifies the possible mistakes that can appear. He or she then rectifies them in time, such as avoiding giving out the right presentation to a wrong audience. During the presentation day, the speaker should dress appropriately for the occasion. They should introduce themselves as a way of familiarizing with the audience. They should also be audible throughout the session and use body gestures, and movements to keep the audience entertained as a way of avoiding boredom. The presenter should answer questions appropriately and should not be shy to admit that they do know have an answer in case a tough question is asked. Ending the session in a right way, such as calling the audience to take action is a strong way of motivating everyone. A presentation should be well prepared for an effective interaction. 

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  1. Alexander, B. (2015). Giving a great presentation: Some tips and advice. Bryanalexander.org. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from https://bryanalexander.org/uncategorized/giving-a-great-presentation-some-tips-and-advice/
  2. Baccarani, C., & Bonfanti, A. (2015). Effective public speaking: A conceptual framework in the corporate-communication field. Corporate Communications: An International Journal20(3), 375-390. http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/ccij-04-2014-0025
  3. Fema.gov. (2014). Preparing for oral presentations. Training.fema.gov. Retrieved 23 April 2018, from https://training.fema.gov/emiweb/is/is242b/instructor%20guide/ig_04.pdf
  4. Kaltenbach, T., & Soetikno, R. (2016). How to create and deliver an effective presentation. Gastroenterology151(6), 1058-1060. http://dx.doi.org/10.1053/j.gastro.2016.10.009
  5. Lucas, S. (2010). The art of public speaking (10th ed.). Boston: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.
  6. Labaree, R. (2010). Research guides: Organizing your social sciences research paper: Giving an oral presentation. Libguides.usc.edu. Retrieved 23 April 2018, from http://libguides.usc.edu/writingguide/oralpresentation
  7. Ncsl.org. (2018). Tips for making effective PowerPoint presentations. Ncsl.org. Retrieved 25 April 2018, from http://www.ncsl.org/legislators-staff/legislative-staff/legislative-staff-coordinating-committee/tips-for-making-effective-powerpoint-presentations.aspx
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