Being able to make an effective presentation is one of the basic attributes expected in every professional field. Many people feel terrified when asked to make their first public talk. Some of these initial fears can be reduced by good preparation that also lays the groundwork for making an effective presentation. A successful presentation is one that accomplishes the intended effect and moves people to action, to close a sale, to receive project funding, etc.
The Key Elements of a Presentation
Making a presentation is a way of communicating ones thoughts and ideas to an audience. The audience’s reaction and therefore the success of the presentation will largely depend upon how a presenter communicated his message effectively and whether it meets their expectations.
A presenter cannot control the audience’s expectations but find out what they know about the presentation and what they are expecting to hear. A presenter can be confident only if he or she is confident of delivering something that will meet audience expectations.
Below are the factors that highly affect the effectiveness of a presentation:
1) Audience Analysis: If the speaker has analyzed the audience in a proper way before presentation, his presentation will be more effective. On the other hand, poor or improper audience analysis leads to ineffective presentation. The style of the presentation is largely dependent upon the type and size of the audience. If audience is large, presentation should be more formal whereas informal presentation can work in small audience.
2) Communication Environment: Communication environment affects the effectiveness of the presentations. Much of the audience notices the physical things surrounding the speaker, the stage, lighting arrangement, background, etc. Proper arrangement of these things can enhance the impact of the presentation. If there is noise in the surrounding environment, it detracts the audience from listening and consequently leaves unhealthy messages.
3) Personal Appearance: Personal appearance of the speaker has great impact on the audience. Well dressed up person can deliver good presentation. Therefore, the speaker should wear neat and clean clothes and take time to check his appearance just before starting presentation. Professional attire is something which leaves a positive impact on the audience right at the start.
4) Use of Visuals: Visuals can enhance the professional image of the presentation. Different research studies demonstrate that presenters using latest visual techniques are perceived as better prepared, more persuasive, more credible and more interesting than speakers who do not use visuals. But visuals work only if the technology on which they depend works well. Therefore, presenter should check the equipment in advance before presenting.
5) Opening and Closing of Presentation: The beginning and closing of a presentation are the positions of emphasis. Those presenters who can open the presentation with interesting remarks which are likely to create more interest and enthusiasm for listening the presentation. On the other hand, presenters with poor opening are likely to leave the audience bored. Similarly, the ending of the presentation has profound impact on the audience. Endings, with vivid and positive pictures are more likely to have profound impact on the audience.