A seasoned speaker, Lenore Kerrigan, the Country Sales Director of OpenText Africa shares 10 presentation tips.

  1. Plan

A benchmark is your planning time should be between 4 – 5 times longer than your presentation.  This excludes research time.  This is purely about ensuring the flow is correct, your presentation is well laid out and easy enough to understand.

  1. Prepare

Ensure you have everything you need for your presentation, from a laptop to a double adaptor, you don’t want anything to increase your nerves and running around for an item you could have brought yourself will lead to more stress.

  1. Practice

In today’s digital world preparation for a presentation is relatively easy.  “Video yourself, play it back, perfect your methods, and repeat”, says Kerrigan.  Present to your family, your friends, or even just to yourself in a mirror or on video, the more you practice, the less likely you are to be nervous.

  1. Paint a Picture

In essence, a presentation is a story, so with that said, ensure that your presentation clearly communicates the content.  Storytelling has been part of human culture for millennia, we are geared to understand and appreciate a good story.  This will help your audience retain what you have said.

  1. Props

The addition of props creates excitement amongst the audience, it breaks the monotony and activates audience interest.

  1. Perform

Using your body and voice creates intrigue. Using different tones of voice for different topics makes the audience more likely to listen to you.  This should be part of the practice stage, where you can play with various tones.

  1. Posture

Your audience is watching you, so ensure that you are not slouching – if you seem disinterested, why should they listen to you?

  1. Participation

Audience participation not only breaks the ice, but it ensures they remain focused and engaged. Ask the audience questions and engage them in the discussion.

  1. Punctuality

“If you are early, you are on time. If you are on time, you are late”, this piece of advice isn’t just for presentations, it is across the board.  If you are someone unable to keep track of time, ask a friend or colleague who is great at that to help you.

  1. Payback

When the audience has left the room, you don’t want them to think “I am so glad that’s over, what a waste of time!”, you want them to be as excited about your topic as you are and that they have gained something from their time spent.  Following the steps above will assist if achieving this goal.