The best presentations on the internet are Ted Talks. It took all my will power to not sit and watch the multitude of talks when adding that link.
What makes a great presentation? There are a number of factors that go into great presentations. Great presentations are like stories. They have a beginning, a middle, and an end. The beginning introduces the topic, and if done well, engages the presentee to the point that they need to hear the body of the presentation. The body then digs deeper into the subject matter sharing ideas, struggles, and solutions. The end then sums up the body and offers a conclusion. Sounds easy doesn’t it? But that only leads us to the presentation itself.
Let’s just say you’ve got your presentation concept ready to go. Maybe you have it in speech form, but you want to add more to it? Maybe a slide show? If you’re presenting a slide show, consider a few rules of putting them together. The do’s and don’ts are as follows: don’t use a lot of text, don’t read every word on your slide, don’t overuse bullet points, don’t use distracting animations or graphs. Do use supporting images, simple charts, keywords and phrases.
Now to the actual presenting. Practice, practice, practice. Slow down. Know your material. Be aware of “uhms”, “and-likes”, and “you-knows” and other similar crutches. Mouth noises – lip smacks, ticks and other space fillers – can get annoying real fast.
Finally, check your ending. I’m noticing more discussions about whether or not to say “thank you” at the end of a speech or presentation. Overall, I say it depends on the circumstances, but there are arguments for and against ending with “thank you” as presented by Ellen Finklestein. You’ll have to decide for yourself if your presentation needs a “thank you” at the end of it or not, but maybe do a little research first. Once you’ve watched about 10 or so Ted Talks, you’ll have a good idea if ending with a “thank you” is right for you.
Now, take that idea you have, build a presentation, run with it and have fun.