A good presentation will have three vital characteristics:
1. A presenter – or trainer – who is comfortable and able to be himself/herself.
2. A presenter who knows and understands his audience. There are two main reasons for this requirement. Firstly, it will not be possible either to plan the necessary materials or to deliver the course at the right level if you are not fully aware of your audience’s aptitudes. Secondly, it is vital that you understand your audience’s motivations. Are they there because they do not have a choice or because they want to be? Do they really want to improve their performance and do they understand how the training will help them to do this? The answers to these questions will help you to deliver a good presentation that holds the attention of people and gets your message across effectively.
3. Preparation. Although it is natural to be nervous, a thorough knowledge of the subject and familiarity with your course materials will make you feel more at ease. Don’t try to be perfect, but aim at competence and keep your objectives in mind. The value of preparation, including practicing your delivery, cannot be overstated.
Your aim as presenter is to appear confident and well prepared and to deliver a training event that will fulfill your teaching objectives. You are also aiming to do all this while keeping people interested and making the best possible use of their time.
By contrast a poor presentation may be badly planned so that folks are left hanging around while the trainer gathers his materials or they will be resentful at the overrun that will happen if the timing is not carefully planned. Upsetting the audience in this way is not recommended, as irritated students will not learn well. People will quickly spot a serious lack of preparation and once you have lost their respect it will be very difficult to win it back and your job will not be an easy one.
Above all, a bad presentation will be one that does not have well-defined learning objectives that are clearly conveyed from the very start of the training event.
Top Ten Tips For Presenters
1. Look people in the eye. Make eye contact with each and every attendee. If conducting a web presentation, look directly into the camera often. If you avoid this you will appear shifty and unconvincing.
2. Don’t read strictly from notes. Use brief prompts – perhaps on cards – that you have prepared in advance to keep you on track.
3. Do use visual aids to illustrate the points you are making.
4. Don’t patronize or appear superior to your audience. If you use jargon that they may not be familiar with or try to make everything appear too complicated, they will not be impressed and they won’t learn much either!
5. Don’t fidget. Be aware of all the annoying little habits that may make an appearance when you are nervous – jingling change in pockets, rubbing your face, swaying from side-to-side, etc.
6. Don’t be inefficient – make use of physical props and web tools to help your presentation.
7. Don’t talk too much about yourself. Everyone is there to learn about the subject of the training event – not your life story.
8. Try to sound convincing. If you don’t sound as though you believe what you’re saying, why should anyone else?
9. Avoid making jokes unless you’re an accomplished, confident comedian.
10. Practice, practice, practice.