5 points to structure your presentation and boost your confidence
I find that one of the most
important aspects of any presentation
is to have a clear structure
in place. If you know exactly what you are talking
about, when to say what, which visual aid to show and how much time
it all takes – you will feel so
much more confident than when you are
unclear about the actual structure
of your presentation.
This is why I will give you a structure
that you can use for any
intervention, presentation, speech
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Analysis It is very important to know who
is sitting in front of you, so start with that. When
you know something about your audience
you can feel more confident
about your presentation.
If you are not sure who
they are, what they know or what interests them, it
will show in the way you present your topic.
You might incorporate a few question marks in the way you speak
and come off a little more unsure than necessary.
→ Action: Ask yourself before
your next presentation: Who is my audience?
What do they already know? What do they want to know? What are
they expecting from me? What will they gain from listening to
my presentation? If you cannot answer these
questions, see if you can find out (ask someone, send a
questionnaire to the participants, etc. )
- Introduction I assume
you know this one already. You need
a good introduction in order to give your audience a chance to get into the topic.
This is a good moment to raise some rhetorical questions, people
can think about during your presentation
and give a good overview
of what is to come. It is always good to also already say what
the point of your presentation
is and what you want people to leave the room with at the end.
This way people know
what your intentions
are and you will seem much more confident
by expressing them in the beginning.
→ Action: Spend time on
preparing a good introduction, already thinking about what
you want people to know at the end. Also mention the structure
of your presentation: content, duration
and when people can pose questions. This way people are more
likely to actively participate and pay
attention to your speech.
- Rule of 3 There is a basic principle in communication
that is called “rule
of three” that is used in writing and poetry, but also in
advertising, film and photography. It helps to structure
of your speech
into 3 parts that are easy to understand and remember.
→ Action: Practice structuring
content into 3 parts. You can structure
anything like this: an intervention during a discussion,
a phone call, a speech or your next presentation.
Having this structure in place will help you and your audience
focus on the most important aspects. This way you will be
perceived as confident, efficient
and straight to the point (see what I'm doing?)
- Summary At the end of
summarize the most important
points that you stressed.
It is good if you have pointed the same ones out at the
beginning of your presentation,
when you were introducing your topic.
If you manage to open and close your speech
with what you intended to, you will come off as very competent. It's
as if you are figuratively closing the circle. This is a very
satisfying feeling for you and your audience.
→ Action: Prepare a good
summary of your topic at the end of your presentation.
Make sure you summarize the most important points and maybe
already give an incentive for possible questions. Thank the audience
for listening and give them some reference where to find some
more in-depth information on the topic.
- Time for questions: It
is very important that you manage
questions in a way that
they don't disturb the flow of your presentation.
So always make time and space for questions at the end of your presentation. If
you just let people ask questions whenever they want to, you
will lose the flow of your presentation
and people will be confused about the structure.
Also the timing might go out
of hand, as some people like to intervene for a long
→ Action: Mention in the
beginning that there will be time for questions at the end of
your presentation. If your presentation
is very long and people are likely to need clarification along
the way, give room for questions after each (of your 3!)
points. You can also prepare some questions for your audience
if nobody participates at the end. This will
help them engage more easily.