Presenting can be nerve-wrecking at the best of times, but digital events can add an additional element of stress - navigating technology as well as your presentation.
It doesn’t matter if it's online or in person, the golden rule of presenting is to practice, so here’s four ways to ensure you nail your Techweek2021 presentation.
1. Know your role
Ask the event organiser to explain the running schedule and your role in the event so you can prepare. Ask when you are presenting, who will introduce you and confirm your speaking time. If it’s a digital event, make sure you know what platform the event is being run on and how to engage with the audience online.
2. Prepare your content
What is the purpose of your presentation and what key points do you want to communicate? When preparing your content, consider the core takeaways for the audience. Check in with your event organiser for details about the audience, including their expected level of knowledge about the event topic, so you can tailor your presentation to them.
Always structure your content with an introduction, main points and a summary. Provide signposts for the audience by telling them what’s coming and reiterating what you’ve told them. Depending on your topic, organise your main points in how-to order, problem and solution, or order of importance. Engage your audience by using real life examples and case studies to illustrate your key points. Share stories.
3. Sort your visuals
Presentation slides should be for your audience, not for you. If you have prepared, you will know your key points and it’s unlikely you’ll forget. Any slides or visual aids you use need to enhance your presentation and not distract your audience. When designing slides, keep it simple with bold images and less than 10 words per slide.
Tip: Always align your notes and visual aids so they illustrate your point at the right time!
4. Practice makes perfect
Rehearsing your presentation a couple of times will help you feel calmer on the day. Here’s some extra tips to present like a pro:
Make eye contact - directly connect with your audience and make an impact. Smile.
Speak clearly - use a conversational tone. Speak slowly, clearly and use simple sentences.
Pace yourself - even if you’re super nervous, try not to rush through your presentation. Pause. It may seem like forever, but it’s not, seriously.
Use notes effectively - try not to read your presentation word for word, use summary notes instead. For digital events, place your notes close to the camera, so only you can easily view them.
Be tech savvy - for digital events choose your setting, test your lighting, prepare a minimal background and look directly at the camera, just as you would make eye contact with an audience in person. In person and online, know how to present slides or videos, handover to another speaker and monitor your timing.
Relax, breathe and enjoy, because your non-verbal body language is an important part of conveying your message. Move naturally (if on stage), be open and confident. Present like a pro!
Check out the Techweek2021 programme here.