Many of us at one time or another are called upon to make a formal presentation to a group of people. Sometimes it can be an intimidating experience, particularly if you are not used to it. Here's a few quick tips to make it enjoyable for you - and your audience.

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Making presentations - 6 tips on how to make an impact

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Many of us at one time or another are called upon to make a formal presentation to a group of people. Sometimes it can be an intimidating experience, particularly if you are not used to it. Here's a few quick tips to make it enjoyable for you - and your audience. And if your audience enjoys it, your presentation will be a success.

  • Know your subject. If you don't, you will be hesitant, boring and unconvincing. A knowledgeable speaker is more likely to be enthusiastic about their subject. And have at least three times as much material as you are likely to use on the assumption that something will go wrong, or someone will ask the wrong question.
  • Know your audience. Try to find out how much or how little they know about your subject, so that your material is neither over their heads or beneath them. Are they there out of duty or interest? Are they friendly or hostile? What are they expecting from your presentation?
  • Know your presentation aids. If you are using any sort of visual aids (and you should), practice with them before hand. Fumbling with a projector or failing to find a marker pen which works will distract from your subject and suggest that you are incompetent. And don't overdo PowerPoint presentations! Keep your slides to a minimum!
  • Know your place. Make sure that you have enough time before your presentation to make yourself familiar with the room and its layout.
  • Vary the nature of the content. Try to incorporate most of the following to get your message across:
    • Surprise or shock
    • Humour
    • Statistics and hard facts
    • Emotion
    • Illustration and example
  • Give yourself enough time. You should know how long your presentation will take, and don't go much over or under the allotted time. Allow 10 per cent of the time for the introduction, 70 per cent for the main body and 20 per cent for the summary.
Do you have any more useful tips on 'making presentations'? There are plenty more ideas! Let us know and we'll add them to the list (with full credit to you, of course).


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