This is the moment you’ve been waiting months for. You’ve managed to pack an entire conference hall with people waiting to hear from you.
Your presentation is loaded on the computer, the AV team has done their job, and all that’s left is for you to blow the audience out of the water.
Sounds great, doesn’t it? But for many, the notion of giving a great seminar presentation is daunting. One publication estimates that 90 percent of people suffer from stage fright.
But a little anxiety shouldn’t stop you from getting your message out to the world. Are you interested in giving a seminar presentation like no other?
Then read on for some tips on how you can deliver a kick-ass presentation that’s sure to stun audiences.
Plan For Everything
If you’ve ever worked in tech or media, you may be familiar with Murphy’s Law. For those not familiar, the “law” follows a simple saying: whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.
Now, this may sound a bit pessimistic, but trust us, it tends to be true. Accordingly, take Murphy’s Law to heart and make sure to plan.
You’ll need a comprehensive outline for just about everything about your seminar presentation. From what tech you’ll be using to how and who will set it up to which USB drive has your PowerPoint on it.
The more you plan, the less likely catastrophe is to strike. Do yourself (and your audience) a favor by make sure you’ve thought of everything before walking on stage.
The introduction of a presentation often sets the mood for everything that follows. Accordingly, be sure to start your presentation off on the right foot.
Think of an interesting anecdote or relevant story to tell the audience. Or open with a joke or a powerful quote that summarizes the point of your seminar presentation.
There’s a ton of wiggle room, so don’t be afraid to get creative. But remember what you learned in your high school composition class: a strong introduction needs to demand the audience’s attention. Don’t just ask for their attention to your intro, demand it.
Go With The Flow
Above all else, a great seminar presentation needs to be well-structured. But what exactly does that mean?
Surprisingly, it isn’t as complicated as one may think. Imagine your presentation as a narrative of sorts. It’s going to need a cohesive flow in order to land with your audience.
Make sure that you’ve structured your seminar in a logical fashion with a beginning, middle, and end.
A Seminar Presentation Involves More Than Slides
If there’s one thing we want you to take away from this guide, it’s this: never, ever read off of your PowerPoint. It doesn’t matter if it’s the most thorough, well-researched presentation in history.
Most people had at least one class in college where the professor was notorious for reading off of his or her PowerPoint slides. And if you haven’t, trust us, it’s boring.
But merely reading off of your slides isn’t just boring, it’s insulting. Presumably, you’re giving this presentation because you’re an expert of sorts. Reading your slides verbatim shows that you don’t value your audience’s time enough to elaborate or deviate from your slides.
Learn From The Pros
Like anything else in life, it’s important to take inspiration from those around you. Find a few presentations that really resonate with you and study them over and over.
Learn what it is about these presentations that just seems to click. Sometimes it may be the information, other times it’s the presenter. Whatever the case, there’s a good chance that you’re not the only one who enjoyed that presentation.
Watch some TED Talks to learn more about body language and signaling. Or even get in touch with professionals like those at Aterna Partners to get some expert tips on how to stand out with AV equipment.
Offer Something Only You Can Give
This tip sounds like a lot, but it’s actually quite reasonable. You, as a presenter, are unique. Not a single person in the audience has the same thoughts, views, opinions, and experiences as you.
This information and rhetoric is your biggest asset.
You’re taking up a portion of these people’s days, offer them something unique in return. It doesn’t need to be tangible, but it should be special.
It can be a story or a piece of advice, even. When all is said and done, your audience needs to walk away from your presentation changed in some way.
Make Eye Contact
Here’s a great trick you may have learned in business school or speech class, make eye contact to grasp the audience’s attention.
Behavioral psychologists claim eye contact is important in establishing confidence, as well as comfort. Pick someone in the audience and present directly to them.
Interact With Your Audience
Different people take in information in different ways. Some members of your audience may learn best by reading slides, but others may benefit from more interaction.
Think of ways that you can pepper interactivity throughout your seminar presentation. Ask for an example or walk through a scenario with an audience member. You can even create a hashtag for your event and encourage users to live tweet the presentation.
People learn by doing, and interactivity will help break up the monotony of a traditional presentation.
Include Your Contact Information
At the risk of sounding egocentric, your presentation is ultimately about you. It’s your information through your lens delivered by, you guessed it, you.
Therefore, don’t feel guilty for adding a little plug at the end of your presentation. Include contact info so your audience can ask any questions or comments.
Final Thoughts On Delivering A Powerful Seminar Presentation
Put each of these steps in motion and you’ll have a strong, memorable presentation in no time! And don’t forget to have fun, while you’re at it. Giving a presentation is nerve-wracking, but it’s also exciting. You’ve got this!
For more great information on how to better yourself and your career, keep checking out the ULearning blog!