A presentation should always be tailored to the needs of the audience.
Anyone who has been invited to a presentation expects more than just a straightforward lecture. They expect the information to be:
–Relevant, “Tailored”, easy to understand
–Objective, delivered by an expert
Building a relationship with the audience from the start is crucial for presentations as well as many other means of business communication. This means recognizing the audience as individuals, as human beings and first meeting them on an interpersonal level. Try to arrive earlier, welcoming the participants, having small talk,etc.
Consider your audience by asking yoursdelf the following questoins:
– “Who am I talking to ?”
– “What do they need or expect ?”
– “What’s their level of knowledge on my subject ?”
– “What do I want them to “take away” ?”
If at any time during the presentation you are not talking to the audience, it means that something is wrong. A lot of speakers talk to the screen, laptop or to their notes for examples.
To enhance your presentation you have to take several points into considerations :
Eye contact opens up one chammel of interpsonal communication. It helps initiate and foster a relationship. It expresses your regard for members of the audience who have given up their personnal time to be there. Only with this direct eye contact hat your audience feels they are being addressed personally and will respond accordingly.
It also provides you feedback and let you know what the audience is thinking, then you can adjust what you are saying.
There’s a magic rule for every eye contact should last around 3-5 seconds per person. Avoid to sweep your eyes across or above the audience.
To succeed to look at all the audience you can use the “M-W” technique. Imagine a huge letter M spanning the audience, you then make eye contact with each of the people at the five points of the letter for the suggested length of time, and before doing the same again using the letter W for the next five people etc.
By combining a smile with positive eye contact you immediately initiate (non-verbal) communication with your audience, generating positive feelings toward you and increasing your credibility. The initial feeling of isolation is lost and you quickly feel at ease in front of the group.
A loud and clear voice will assist you in overcoming any signs of nervousness in your speech. It will control your breathing and heightening the attention level of your audience and consequently raise your feeling of security.
Well-controlled posture and expansive gestures help hide shaky hands or wobbly knees and at the same time reduce muscular tension. Canalizing energy into these physical presentation skills has the same effect as doing relaxation exercices.