A presentation is a structured, well sequenced and efficient way to have an interactive session with your desired audience. It is essential to prepare for a presentation to make it sufficiently effective. While preparing slides are obviously a major part of your presentation, preparing yourself is another very important aspect. Although you can learn the integral parts of a presentation, its final delivery can only be mastered through practice and effort.
Simply put, a presentation is divided into three parts: introduction, body, and conclusion.
The introduction gives you the opportunity to make a good first impression on your audience and is of utmost importance since it sets the tone for the rest of the presentation. The time and effort spent in making your introduction unique will help you in the long run. As we all know, first impressions really do matter! Any introduction must include a joke, something humorous or a general expression to liven the atmosphere. Introducing yourself, telling the audience something about your role and giving them a brief outline of the subject creates an impact. In your introduction you must:
- welcome your audience
- introduce your subject
- outline the structure of your presentation
- give instructions concerning any possible questions
The body of the presentation is the actual or ‘real’ presentation. If the introduction is well prepared and delivered effectively, you will be in better control of the body. The body should be well-structured, divided up logically, with plenty of carefully spaced visuals.
Remember these key points while delivering the body of your presentation:
- do not hurry
- be enthusiastic
- give time on visuals
- maintain eye contact
- modulate your voice
- look friendly
- keep to your structure
- use your notes
- remain polite when dealing with difficult questions
The conclusion is the impression you leave your audience with. It is your final opportunity to make the presentation successful.
Use the conclusion to:
- sum up
- give recommendations if appropriate
- thank your audience
- invite questions
Questions provide a good opportunity for you to interact with your audience. It may be helpful for you to try to predict what questions are likely to be asked so that you can prepare your response in advance.
Being relaxed and confident throughout the presentation is very important. A well-prepared presentation can be a great way to deliver your objectives to a large group.