Before Your Presentation
Public speaking is widely feared more than death and failing to plan is planning to fail. For these reasons, it’s best to take some time and prepare for your next presentation. There are several parts to your presentation that will either make it a success or a failure. We will discuss each of these and set you up for success.
Content. The general subject matter of your presentation is important and it should be something your attendees want to hear as well as relevant to the larger event or course. Also, make sure that the phrasing and delivery of your content is in line with the demographic of your attendees. This may require a bit of research. Some demographics may prefer multi-media versus a straight lecture to keep them engaged. Other ideas for format could include powerpoint, video, music and handouts that are half filled out (attendees fill out the rest as they learn).
Equipment Needs. Based on the content of your presentation, you can make a list of equipment needs that you will need and check with the organizer of the space to see what the room has. Make sure to check for what type of adapters you may need or software compatibility on multiple devices.
Practice. Practice makes perfect. Unless presenting comes to you naturally, I would recommend trying to memorize large portions of your presentation. This will help if you get nervous and make for less unknown variables during your session. I like to start memorizing by working on single sentences. I will read it once and say it once without looking. After that, you can start piecing larger sessions together from memory. My favorite trick is practicing the presentation under physical stress. Take a quick run and then stop and start reciting. This will make presenting in an air-conditioned room seem like a piece of cake.
Help Your Attendees Prepare. Giving your attendees information prior to the event can help increase engagement during the session. Before your presentation send your attendees the schedule. Make sure they know what time things are happening, room numbers and a short description. Also be sure to have a way to start asking questions prior to the session (such as 2Shoes!