In Part 1 of this series we covered the different questions you should ask your host to help you prepare your topic.
In Part 2 of this series we talked about how to organize your thoughts into an outline.
This final part of the series is dedicated to helping you choose a presentation aid (PowerPoint is one of the options covered) and practice delivering your speech.
As a courtesy to your audience, this blog also includes access to a video that shows you what audience’s really think about PowerPoint….
Steps for preparing for your delivery:
First, plan your presentation aid.
- Select any physical props, models, pictures, graphs, charts, videos, audio or other multimedia products that may help you communicate your message effectively and match the occasion.
- Choose how you want to display your aids. Props and models may be hidden from the audience’s view until you need to show it to avoid distracting them. Pictures, graphs, and charts may be printed out and magnified to a larger size for easy display on a chalkboard, whiteboard or easel. Audio may be played through sound systems or any compatible music player with speakers. Video and other multimedia can be shared on TVs or projectors. And all of the previously mentioned presentation aids, with the exception of physical props and physical models, can be shared through presentation software like PowerPoint or Prezi. Please enjoy this video of a comedian’s tips on how to effectively use presentation software.
Next, it is time to practice delivering your presentation within the allotted time frame.
- Practice making eye contact with audience members while you speak. You can do this by practicing your presentation in front of 3-7 friends and practice taking your time and looking each person in the eye for 3-5 seconds.
- Practice projecting your voice so that you can be clearly understood. Even if you have access to a microphone during the presentation, you do not want to swallow your words when you speak.
- Practice using proper posture when you stand and allow yourself to talk with your hands or even walk around a little bit. Controlled movement helps release some of the speaking anxiety and looks much better than nervous habits like standing with hands in pockets or shuffling your feet.
The most important thing to remember is to have fun sharing your message.
Consider the steps above more as guides than hard and fast rules. Be creative and don’t be afraid to improvise when you speak and respond to what the audience finds interesting.
You can find excellent examples of presentations at www.ted.com/talks.
Have you ever experienced “death by PowerPoint”? If so, what tips can you offer to other writers on how to use PowerPoint effectively?