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Insights on How to Deliver an Effective Presentation

by Olatorera Oladeji

A presentation has various meanings. For this article, it means a speech or talk in which you show and explain a product, idea, or piece of work to an audience. At the end of this post, you’ll have detailed knowledge on how to deliver an effective presentation, as well as other presentation tips to keep your audience’s eyes glued to you.

Types of Business Presentation

To deliver an effective presentation, you need to be aware that there are various types of presentation. It will help you select the appropriate presentation style and relevant presentation tips for that purpose. A few types of presentation are stated below:

  1. Informative Presentation

This type of presentation introduces a set of information to the audience in a clear and organised manner. When you are giving an informative presentation at work, the audience should be able to grasp the information you are trying to pass across straightforwardly. The ability to pass across the message clearly makes for an effective presentation.

  1. Narrative Presentation

This type of presentation is descriptive. You describe an event, a product, or a piece of work such that the audience understands the purpose of the presentation. This skill is often required in the arts. To deliver an effective narrative presentation, you must be able to narrate in sequence and carry the audience along. In an organisational setting, narrative presentation is important to inspire the team or convince potential customers to patronise you.

  1. Recounting an event

This is similar to the narrative presentation, but it is slightly different. Here, you must provide the exact sequence of events. This is often the case with law enforcement agents when prosecuting a crime.

  1. Instructive Presentation

This presentation comes as a form of instruction on carrying out a particular task or assignment. This could be from your superior at work to you or from you to your subordinates. It is also useful for workshops or onboarding sessions in companies and businesses.

  1. Argumentative Presentation

This sort of presentation ought to lay out a clear position, cite evidence, and give reasons. It often envisages a counter-argument and puts them into consideration. To effectively deliver an argumentative presentation, you must be abreast of information and facts that may sway the audience in your favour. This sort of presentation is helpful when you’re trying to pitch a controversial but innovative idea to your team at work.

  1. Presentation as a form of inquiry

This is when you have a well-informed and feasible hypothesis and use instances to back it up. Surveys are practical examples. You could conduct an inquiry on a particular subject matter due to an experiment carried on a select number of people to form a hypothesis.

  1. Persuasive presentation

The goal of a persuasive presentation is to influence the belief or behaviour of another person or group of people. You are seeking to effect a change for good or bad. Persuasive presentation is common in big companies with very expensive products that can only make sales by presenting to potential buyers. It can also work with other presentations requiring a call to action at the end.

Read also: Essential interpersonal skills for career development

Tips on How to Deliver an Effective Presentation

To deliver an effective presentation, the presentation’s content must be compelling. No matter the beautiful skill used in design and delivery, the content of the presentation must be solid.

However, a solid presentation must also be attractive to the audience. You have to make your audience interested and take them on a journey that will resonate with them. Below are some useful presentation tips:

  1. Have a simple structure

When you want to deliver an effective presentation, divide it into three broad sections. These sections are:

  • A catchy introduction: the introduction or opening of a presentation is essential. It often sets the mood and tone for the entire presentation.
  • A well-researched body: this is where the content and depth of the presentation are put to the test. It contains the facts, figures, statistics, and evidence to back up any point, assertion, or claim. It is the crux of any effective presentation.
  • Conclusion: In a good presentation, the conclusion is where you tie all loose ends. You give the audience key and concise points from the body.

In all, when you deliver an effective presentation, it should not be lengthy. Keep it as short and as simple as possible. Using concise words will help your audience digest the information fast. Long presentations may put out the audience, particularly if there is more than one presentation.

  1. Add colour to the presentation

When making a presentation at your workplace, a good design would go a long way in making your presentation an effective one. There are tools that are useful in making great slides, such as Canva, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Google Slides. Here are some tips on how to add colour to your presentation:

  • Do not use too many bright colours. Too many bright colours may distract the audience from the message of your presentation.
  • Use the same font all through. It is very professional to use the same font for all presentation slides. It is also a good presentation tip not to switch cases and styles unnecessarily.
  • Format the presentation: This makes the presentation aligned and neat.

These presentation tips may seem small, but they make a lot of difference in the audience’s minds. It differentiates an excellent presentation delivery from a mediocre one.

  1. Make corrections as often as possible

No presentation is perfect, and new knowledge comes to light regularly. As such, it is not out of place for you to edit your presentation as often as possible to get optimum results. Here are a few presentation tips on how to make effective corrections:

  • Start in a rough format: One of the best presentation tips is to start rough and let the presentation take shape with time.
  • Edit vigorously: When researching for a presentation, you will come across several pieces of information. It will be clumsy to use all the information you find. Hence, you will need to edit, streamline and select only the necessary pieces of information for use.
  • Get a second opinion. You may think you are ready to deliver an effective presentation, but there may be little silly errors and points you missed that another person would spot easily. It is a good presentation tip to get a second opinion on your presentation.
  1. Delivery

Once you’ve prepared your materials, the delivery of the presentation to the audience is vital. How you pass across the message significantly determines how the audience receives the message.

  • Have an excellent introduction: An excellent opening of your presentation prepares the audience for what is about to come. It could come in the form of a story, quotes, or a question.
  • Tailor your introduction to your audience. For instance, if you’re speaking to people raised abroad, examples specifically coined for Nigerians may be lost on them. Do your research and find out the best introduction that suits your audience.
  • Be open and warm to your audience: Your audience can always sense emotions. Hence, you need to be as calm as possible so you don’t distract them with fidgeting actions. You can use humour to lighten the room and lift perceived tension. The audience may appear unimpressed with your attempts but do not let it throw you off balance. Continue the presentation as planned.
  • Have backup material: There are some questions that your presentation may not provide answers to. Make sure there are materials for backup so that you can deliver an effective presentation.
  • Time yourself: This is very important so you don’t get carried away. Set a stopwatch that you can glance at while making the presentation so that you don’t exceed the provided time.
  • Give room for questions: Allow your audience to ask questions. Do not presume you already know the question the audience wants to ask. Be patient, listen and respond accordingly. If you have no answers, be honest and do not try to be clever.
  • Give a lasting conclusion: Let your conclusion reiterate the key points in the presentation and give a resounding message to the audience.

Read also: How to hook your readers with great content

Why Would You Need to Deliver an Effective Presentation

When the purpose of a thing is unknown, abuse is inevitable. To deliver an effective presentation and use good presentation tips, you must understand why you are making such a presentation. Understanding the type of presentation and the use of a particular presentation will help you deliver an effective presentation. Below are a few uses of presentation:

  1. Providing information

An effective presentation provides the audience with information. It gives them a better understanding of the subject matter at hand. For example, when recounting an event, you provide the audience with information on the sequence of events.

  1. Selling a Product or service

You make some presentations to convince another person about a particular good or service. For instance, you could market an insurance policy to an individual or sell a phone. Any presentation made at that point is to sell a product or service.

  1. Making a decision

An investment company is torn between two viable businesses in which to invest. Delivering an effective presentation may be the deciding and convincing factor for such a company. Thus, an effective presentation has helped such a company make its decision.

  1. Solving a problem

You can help solve a problem by delivering an effective presentation. This could occur in a panel of inquiry, where you present data and facts and itemise possible solutions based on your observations. You can also make recommendations to prevent a recurrence of such problems.

  1. Progress report

Many organisations have goals and targets. These goals could be monthly, quarterly, or yearly. A presentation is a perfect way to track the progress of such targets. This presentation informs the organisation key players of how far they have come and what is left to do.

Read also: A guide to public speaking in Nigeria

6 Things to Avoid to Deliver an Effective Presentation

  1. Being unprepared: Always be prepared in every way possible.
  2. Reading directly from the screen: To deliver an effective presentation, you must be able to speak without continually staring at your screen. Look at your audience more than you look at your screen. After all, you’re speaking to them, not the screen.
  3. Using inappropriate content: When you want to deliver an effective presentation, avoid using profane and inappropriate words. It makes a mess of everything.
  4. Lengthy presentation: Short, concise, and simple presentations are always more catchy than lengthy ones. The audience’s attention span may wane if the presentation is too lengthy.
  5. Having too much information on a slide: Another significant way to deliver an effective presentation is to limit the information on each slide. A rowdy slide makes the presentation rough and untidy.
  6. Speaking incoherently: A good presentation tip is to speak as clearly as possible. Speaking incoherently often puts off the audience. Spell out your words clearly and audibly for the audience to pick.

In summary, when preparing to deliver an effective presentation, note what to do and what to avoid.

Have you ever delivered a presentation in a formal business setting? What other tips do you think are important?

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About Author

Avatar of Olatorera Oladeji
Olatorera Oladeji
Torera Oladeji is a Nigerian lawyer. She has a flair for writing and has decided to explore that passion. She is fun loving, enjoys her own company and hopes to be an established writer soon. She is currently a volunteer with Insight.ng

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