Here's our 5 Top Tips for delivering a great presentation. For more in depth training on giving presentations we offer a Presentation Skills Training Course.
1) Tailor Your Presentation Around Your Audience
It is for the audience that you are giving your presentation, so make sure that your presentation is suited to the type of audience you are speaking to. For instance if the audience will be largely made up novices or people who will not know a lot about your chosen subject then it is up to you to inform them and make sure that it is easily understandable. Similarly you will want to skip the basics if your audience are already well accustomed with the information at hand.
2) Fully Prepare and Organise Your Presentation
Throughout your presentation the audience should never get lost or confused. It should be set up and organised in such a way that it is easily digestible. One of the ways you can accomplish this is to continually clarify and summarise any points you make at the end of each major section, either on the slide or when you are explaining out loud to the audience.
Public speaking is a difficult thing to do and many people find it nerve wracking and a very uncomfortable experience. Finding the confidence to speak effectively and clearly can be a real stumbling block for some presentations. However this confidence will only come through knowing your stuff. If you are sure that you know what to say and that you are fully prepared for any eventuality then you will find it a lot easier. You may want to try rehearsing in front of friends or a mirror to help you get a better impression of where you could improve.
4) Simplicity Can Often Be Best
It is tempting to try and cram your presentation full of clever and "exiting" little tricks to try and make your presentation stand out, but be careful. Most of the time, if not all of the time, any animation or audio or visual effect will only confuse the audience and make it harder for them to read and understand. Remember that it is about substance rather than style and any novelty items you put in your presentation will generally only help to undermine your presentation.
5) Don't Just Read the Slides.
Do not read your slides word for word, this is boring and repetitive and doesn't tell the audience anything that they couldn't have read themselves. Your job as a speaker is to inform the audience of information beyond what the slides show them. You should expand on the slides and use them as the trigger notes or summaries of any points you which to make.