Despite awareness of the several advantages of utilising the PowerPoint presentation tool, there have been occasions where the use of slides was not required. Being an adherent of PowerPoint, I have clearly bungled some sales pitches where the audience/prospects had cause to prefer ‘No slides’ presentation. Please assist me with some vital tips on how to get it right in this area. More so, it will even help in my new role as a budding pastor – Michael Orji
Also, in line with a self-analysis which tallies with having a desired ‘feel’ of the audience, it will be advantageous to your efforts at having an effective presentation, if you have ready response to these questions: What is the essence of the event where the presentation will take place? Where will it hold (its location or venue)? What provision (e.g. facilities) will be made available? Where does your slot (the presentation itself) fit into the programme of the meeting? How do you depart from the scene after your appearance? How prepared are you in the area of catering for certain ingredients of a successful presentation, as they pertain to your capabilities? Getting the following right, as vital components of these ingredients, serve as the best leverage towards an impressive talk:
Outline the speech
Endeavour to always come up with an outline for whatever you intend to convey (e.g. spoken words). Not having an outline, which serves as guidelines, before any presentation makes for likely deviation from vital points, and even the theme of one’s submission? Furthermore, having an outline ensures the inclusion of important points that should be remembered. This no doubt helps in efforts at making more sense to the audience for likely sympathetic result. Speech outline should be close enough to be seen while standing to present, and should be typed to make it easier to read (large fonts of 20-30 points are recommended).
Just like in sports where practices are essential for sports persons, rehearsals as part of preparation for a presentation should be viewed in the same light, and remains highly recommended. Indeed a regular presenter should rehearse before any outing, at least twice, even if for a few minutes. I do not hesitate to state here that I belong to the group who sometimes ‘practice’ in front of a mirror (with an imaginary audience in mind) to facilitate rehearsal. A step further in this regard entails ‘practicing’ before colleagues; trying to simulate the occasion; and encourage probing and difficult questions during such in-house simulation exercise.
Early arrival to presentation should be adhered to. It is glaring that being late will only make for frantic disposition on your part. An advantage of being around on time is the timely opportunity of gauging the state of facilities, like visual aids, sound system, size of room, etc. Without ascertaining the favourable state of necessary facilities may ‘derail’ a presenter from a successful pitch.
Avoid bodily inconveniences
There is no harm in exercising the body (e.g. neck and shoulder rolls; deep breathing; face stretches, etc) before any event. Using the men’s room, like me, briefly for this purpose helps a great deal. Also remember to control anxiety by feeding appropriately earlier – Avoid food which makes for coating of throat, stomach acid and other physical ailments. An earlier meal of beans is a case in point, going by its notoriety in flatulence. It can become a major distraction when one’s audience keeps touching their nostrils or abandon front-row seats or crave for gas masks, due to emission from the presenter.
Get pumped up
Try to begin presentation in a great state. Do whatever to get self-excitement privately before presentation (e.g. jumping, hand clapping, favorite music, high five with colleagues, etc). This is remarkable when applied to create positive emotion for your offering within yourself. It even becomes relevant as tool to lead the audience in accordance with the high spirit that comes with it (e.g. exciting them about one’s product or sense of trust, etc.). High spirit has a way of being infectious, positively
Commence presentation with leading the audience on, such as cracking a joke or asking simple questions during the first few minutes. This tends to render the environment less tense, and helps in creating more affinity with the audience from the onset of one’s presentation. My experience ‘tells’ me that getting a conversation going from the beginning helps in, no doubt, creating a favourable relationship with the audience.
Eye contact with individuals
Sustain eye contact in order to avoid any form of changing the location of one’s focus. While talking, rather than allowing one’s eyes to ‘roam’, try to focus on someone in the audience (as if in a personal chat) every time a point is stressed. In other words, maintain concentration on what is to be said next by fixing visual focus for short periods of time. Try to achieve this by completing a thought or a sentence while sustaining eye contact with one person. Remember to move eye contact to a new person with each new thought or sentence.
It becomes almost as certain as remembering the name of the organisation you represent in a sales pitch, if you opt for adopting the above as guide. Through these you are assured of getting it right in any ‘No slides’ presentation.