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At Attwoods we can advise on many aspects of running and growing a business. Here are some tips for delivering effective presentations...
Good presentation skills are an important business asset, yet all too often speakers fail to represent themselves, or their subject, to full advantage.
The art of a good presentation is not confined to the naturally outgoing - indeed, it involves a number of skills which need to be learned. Follow these pointers to help make the experience of giving a presentation more successful - and enjoyable.
Get to the point. Decide on the key points you need to make in the course of the presentation
Put your spin on it. Highlight what is interesting, unusual or important about your subject matter, in order to engage your audience and make an impact
Assume nothing. Don't make your audience fill in the gaps. Important background information should be outlined, even if only briefly
Clarity is everything. Try to see the presentation from your audience's perspective. Are your points clear, and does your presentation have a logical flow?
Rehearse the part. Practise in front of a friend or colleague, or a mirror. Look out for any distracting mannerisms, such as fiddling with your papers
Know your stuff. Make sure you are familiar with the points you wish to make, and that you know how to use any presentation aids
Check out the back-up. Slides, charts, etc, are only an asset if they are clear and used to illustrate a point
Make your notes work. Use a series of words or phrases that will prompt you, rather than full sentences. Put notes onto small cards and double-space them: this will make them easier to see, and also allows for natural pauses
Check the details. Make sure you know when and where you are to give your presentation
Dress the part. Wear clothes that are smart but comfortable
Take control. A little nervousness is not a bad thing - but don't let your nerves get the better of you. Looking down at the floor and speaking into your notes will be a turn-off for your audience
Breathe deeply. Take a few deep breaths before you begin. Look up at your audience - and remember to smile
Act the part. Project your voice. Speak as naturally as possible, so that your words have intonation and meaning. If possible and appropriate, inject a little humour.
Encourage participation. If you don't know the answer to a question, you can always offer to send on further details
Do's and Don'ts of presenting
Do think of your audience
Do be enthusiastic about your subject
Do speak clearly
Don't hit a monotone
Don't retreat into your notes
Don't leave your audience to do the work
Remember the most boring of subjects can seem interesting if presented in an interesting way - and unfortunately, the opposite also applies!
If you are looking for support and advice from a team of professional accountants and business advisers, contact Attwoods.
The practices of Attwoods are carried on by Attwoods Accountants Limited, Attwoods Business Services Limited, Attwoods (Bromsgrove) Limited, Attwoods (London) Limited and Attwoods CCA Limited. Regulated for a range of investment business activities by the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants.