I just did a webinar for the Canadian Association of Communicators in Education called “Presentations that Impact Lives.” Near the end, I used a slide that summarized a few points about presentation delivery. It was a slide that I created a number of years ago, but the points are still valid, so I thought I’d share them with you here.
These are the points I made:
- Lights: If possible, it’s best to keep the lights on so that the audience can see you and vice versa. Years ago, projectors were less powerful and it was hard to see the screen when the lights were on, but that’s changed. Also, light systems are more flexible, so that you can often turn off lights in the front but leave the rest of the lights on.
- Don’t read: The audience hates it when you read text on slides. Create slides that don’t have enough text for you to read. Practice so that you can take one glance at the slide and then look at the audience to make your point.
- Interact: Ask questions, answer questions, walk around the room — make your presentation a conversation, at least part of the time.
- No lectern: Don’t have a big box between you and the audience.
- Eye contact: Make eye contact with people as you speak; don’t look over the heads of the audience.
- Voice: Modulate your tone, speak loud enough for people to hear without being too loud, and use pauses for effect.
- Smile! Yes, people will respond to you better!
- Move! Use your hands and walk a little without pacing. Don’t fiddle with your hair or change in your pocket, but don’t be stiff like a mannequin. Instead, move around from left to right and forward and back. Just act naturally as you would in a 1-on-1 conversation.
There you have it — a (non-parallel) list of points that will help you improve your delivery.
What presentation delivery tips do you suggest?