Small audience? Plow on!

Ever face a really small audience? If not, you will. It happens to every speaker at least one time. You owe it to yourself, your host and your audience to put on a professional performance. Here are some key points to keep in mind.

1. Remain positive. Keep a smile on your face and in your voice. Show enthusiasm and interest, even excitement. Act as if you expected–even preferred–a smaller audience.

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Presentation tip: Don’t let gaffes trip you up

In an earlier post, I discussed how to handle problems that sometimes occur during presentations. This presentation tip column goes a bit deeper. I use examples from my own speaking experiences to show you how I overcame minor mistakes

Remember this: If something occurs while giving a presentation, compensate and move on. This is an important point. Presenters – especially nervous ones – sometimes overreact when they make a mistake. Errors are a part of every presenter’s life. Learn to live with and deal with them.

Presentation errors fall under two broad categories: physical and mental. Let’s start with physical ones.

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Presentation Tip: Which “you” do you use?

Presentation Tip: Choose the correct “you” for your audience.

Good presenters – indeed, anyone involved in marketing communications – know that to really connect with an audience it’s important to write in the “you” format. This involves using the pronoun ‘you’ frequently throughout the presentation. Doing so shows that you are genuinely concerned about the audience’s needs.

‘You’ can be used in two ways: as a plural form (“you folks”, “you guys/gals”, “you all”) or in the singular. For the purposes of the column, I want to concentrate on electronic presentations. Those include online presentations (webinars, teleconferences and video conferences) and recorded material (training videos and tutorials).

Webinars, teleconferences, and video conferences by their nature involve groups of people. It’s natural to speak in the plural form. You are, after all, speaking to a number of people simultaneously.

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8 more tips for a successful presentation

How to give a successful presentation

Public speaking is fun, and it can be very rewarding with the proper preparation. The following presentation tips will ensure a successful presentation next time.

how to give presentations

1. Prepare well. Even if you’ve given this presentation before, start from scratch. Establish a goal or objective for your presentation. What do you want your audience to know or do at the conclusion of your presentation? Use that to develop an outline. The outline will keep you focused on your objective.

Do your research. Could be online, off-line; maybe even include some interviews. The more effort you put in, the more effective your presentation will be.

2. Develop a checklist of your needs. You’ll include the usual items (laptop and projector, for example), but don’t forget a marker and/or pointer, your reading glasses, and other details. Don’t rely on memory. It’s too easy to forget those things.

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Some tips to ensure a successful presentation

I had the pleasure of offering a presentation to a class of business students on Tuesday. We reviewed a number of important writing tips as well as presentation skills. I always enjoy speaking to groups. Presentations allow me to educate an audience, enhance my presentation skills, and even learn from the event. Each presentation you give is unique. This one offered reminders of certain presentation principles, which I’d like to share with you.

Tips for  a successful presentation

1. Adjust your presentation style to fit class size. I was expecting six students, which would’ve been small anyway. (The classroom was standard size.) Instead, only three attended. All sat in the back row. I used PowerPoint for one presentation and the whiteboard for the other. A tiny group like this forced me to approach and speak from just a few feet away.

While rehearsing and visualizing your presentation, you might picture a full (or nearly full) room. Be prepared for something less. Don’t act shocked if only a handful of audience members arrive. Adjust your presentation style accordingly.

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