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If you work in-house, then you already know the drill. At one point or another, you're going to have to give a presentation. Whether it's a few slides to the legal department, or a major show at the annual international sales meeting, you need to know how to give a great presentation.
If you are in the midst of a presentation and can hear the hum of the air conditioning, you've lost your audience. You want people engaged and asking questions. Here are 5 quick tips on giving a great presentation ... and here's a hint, it's more than just having a great PowerPoint deck.
1. Less is More
We’re not talking cologne here (although that applies as well), we mean words. Keep the words in your deck to a minimum. Highlight key terms and instead of words, include graphics to illustrate your points. People are very visual and will respond more to graphics (which is why Keynote is gaining popularity among the tech savvy).
2. Don’t Read the Deck
The last thing you want to do when presenting is just get up and read the deck. People can read, they’re not watching you so you could read to them. You should be prepared enough to talk about the subject off the top of your head, without reading bullet points from the deck.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
Come on, you know this. Isn’t that why you’re always bugging your kids about their musical instruments? Practice your presentation in advance with colleagues. Have them ask you questions. Make it as realistic as possible so you can be as prepared as you can for the big day.
4. Engage With Your Audience
Don’t be afraid to look the audience in the eyes, or move around on stage. You’re a person, not a robot. Start out with a joke, ask for participation, or open with an anecdote, do whatever is in your comfort zone to get the audience’s attention.
5. Your Laser Pointer is Your Friend
This rule is just as important if you are in the audience, as it is for people giving presentations. When answering (or asking) questions, it’s always helpful to have a laser pointer so you can hone in on what it is you’re addressing. You don’t want to waste five minutes just trying to figure out what someone is asking.
If you haven’t already, the day will soon come for you to give a key presentation. Don’t spend all your time on your deck, remember that you are presenting to people, so make the presentation engaging and you’ll do great.
Feel free to share our tips with your colleagues too. Not to get all Inception on you, but maybe you can even make a presentation on giving presentations. Tweet us @FindLawLP if you have a presentation tip you want to share.