How to Prepare for a Presentation – with Examples

Team leader gives business presentation

Preparation is the most essential part of a successful presentation. Make sure to avoid any shortcuts and dedicate a solid amount of time to it. Good preparation will demonstrate that you have thought thoroughly about the messages that you want to deliver to your audience.

Whether you use the best powerpoint templates or write everything from scratch, you need to follow the standard guidance. Let us help you with it!

1. Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse (always aloud)

Most people spend hours developing a presentation, but they completely forget about practicing it. Without it, they fail to deliver a good performance.

When you practice your presentation aloud, you can polish your speech from utter words and phrases like, “um,” “well,” and “like.” You can also learn the material better, which will make you feel more relaxed.

2. Memorize your opening line

Memorizing your presentation speech by heart is not a good idea, as it will give you a false sense of security. Being less flexible with your knowledge, you will most likely fail to answer the random questions asked by the audience during your performance.

Meanwhile, it won’t hurt to learn your opening line by heart. A strong beginning will give you confidence for making the rest of the presentation in the same mode.

Women working on her presentation

3. Practice your speech from written notes

You must know every single detail from your presentation. After all, you never know what questions can be asked by the audience. To get a better grasp of your presentation, you should write the whole content in your own handwriting. This exercise will also help you make some corrections by adding or deleting some facts.

4. Practice presentation flow

Practicing what you want to say is as important as practicing how you want to say it. A short presentation shouldn’t turn into a boring and tiresome experience for your audience. This is why you should set up a timeframe for yourself and practice to fit into it without losing the quality of work.

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5. The power of silence

The purpose of the presentation is to deliver a certain message to the audience. So, you should make sure that everyone understands what you are saying. Without properly used pauses, your speech may turn into a hectic mix of words. To avoid this, make a pause before saying a joke, giving a fact, or doing any other emotional trick.

6. Have a backup

When you make a big project, you should always be ready for inconveniences. Thus, you may need Plan B if an online projector dies, your laptop doesn’t connect, and so on. It will make sense to prepare visuals on separate pieces of paper, so you can use them in the worst-case scenario.

7. Arrive early

Even if you are not the most punctual person in the world, you should do your best to come on time. Ideally, you come 15-20 minutes earlier to check if everything is ready.

8. Use physical props for a demo

By applying some physical props for a demo, you will make your presentation look more memorable for the audience. This approach will let you stand out from the crowd easily.

9. Structure your presentation

Your presentation should be well-structured. Whether you have 5, 10, or 15 minutes for giving a speech, you should manage to provide all information within these timeframes. Adjusting your content to time limits will surely take some effort. In the end, it will demonstrate your professionalism to the audience.

10. Prepare for questions

You should understand that your presentation will most likely lead to some questions from the audience. And it’s in your very best interest to know how to answer them. Well, if you prepare for your presentation properly, you shouldn’t have problems using the mastered knowledge.

Conference presentation

11. Prepare for where you are presenting

If you know the place where your presentation will take place in advance, you should make all the necessary preparations there. Clear up some space for yourself and for your laptop. Make sure that there is a projector that will display your presentation on the wall.

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12. Choose the signals to give to your audience

While practicing the presentation, think about your behavior. To be more precise, you should pay attention to your voice, pace, eye contact, as well as facial and body gestures. All these things will help you keep the audience focused on your speech.

Business conference

Example from Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs remains a role model for many people. His talent to make interesting and engaging presentations can hardly be denied. What you can do is to borrow some of his techniques to give a successful performance.

  • Develop cohesive content. Make sure that your presentation looks balanced, involving an involving text, excellent visuals and videos, space for additional questions, and even small integrations from other speakers.
  • Sound like social media. Make every slide look like a post from social media. One slide shouldn’t contain more than 140 characters.
  • Introduce the enemy. Introduce a villain to stand against or a problem to be resolved. Let it be one of the hooks that will keep your audience engaged until the end.
  • Make benefits clear. Mention the benefits of your product or issue. Organize them in a top 5 or 10 list.
  • Use visuals. Let visuals dominate on the slides. Make sure that images, photos, and graphics are relevant to the covered topic.
  • Use numbers. Mention some statistical data to prove your statements or compare some facts.
  • Sell dreams, not products. Appeal to people’s emotions and feelings. Say something that will make them happy and satisfied.

Those are simple yet effective secrets for stunning presentations! Make them work for you, so your presentation project will be dressed to impress.

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