Giving a presentation at work can produce a lot of anxiety, especially for someone not comfortable with public speaking. And many are not. But, with the proper planning and practice, it doesn’t have to be that stressful. Here are a few tips for making a good presentation.

1. Know your audience

You should know something about the background of the people you will be speaking to because it will help to determine how you present your topic. How much do they know about it? Why are you giving this presentation to them, what is your purpose? What ideas or information do you want them to take away from the presentation?

2. What’s the message

You should be able to state your message clearly and concisely. It should take no longer than 30 seconds to lay it out.
If it takes longer, it could be that you have not clearly defined the point of the presentation in your own mind.

Everything else in the presentation should be there for one purpose only – to expand on your main point, either through further defining and clarifying it, explaining it, or providing supporting material for it. If there is any information in the presentation that does not relate to the main point, remove the extraneous material.

3. Tell a story

People love to hear stories. And they remember them well too. Try to illustrate your topic by telling a story, focusing on people and what they are doing.

4. Set up your slides

Your presentation should have no more than 10 slides and take no more than about 20 minutes to deliver, according to the experts. Any longer and you risk diluting your message and rising boredom among your audience.

The font size on the slides should be no smaller than 30 point. This ensures that they are not covered in large blocks of print. Your material should be conveyed using short bullet points.

5. Practice

Your delivery is obviously important. The tone of your voice, the speed at which you talk, your volume, the pauses you make, all can make or break a presentation. That is why practice is essential to fine-tune your delivery and get all of these things where you want them to be.

6. Body language

This is important also. You should gesture occasionally with your hands for emphasis, but don’t do it too often because this will become distracting. Make eye contact with the audience and smile occasionally as well.

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