When you are presenting, some steps should be followed so you will be presenting according to the “etiquette”. Here are some tips:
- Time is very important, do not finish early and do not take more time. It is really essential to leave some time for Q&A so you can answer some questions. If you think you are late and you don’t have much time, prepare a summary that sums up the rest of your presentation. Speaking rapidly to fit all your prepared speech would look very awkward.
- Make sure you arrive before the presentation time to check the audio-visual equipment. Usually an hour earlier would be perfect. If someone’s speaking before you, sit and listen. Professional speakers usually take advantage of the points discussed by the previous speakers and link it to their own subject.
- In case you are expecting to use your own laptop, be ready in case you’ve been asked to use another. Keep a copy of your slideshow on you USB. Make sure you have a hard copy of your slideshow in case of any equipment failure.
- Be gentle and nice with the person who is taking care of the slides, sound and lighting. He is the only person who has the ability to ruin it all.
- If you think that you can rely on your slideshow, you are wrong. Looking at the screen and reading the bullet points you’ve previously prepared is no longer useful and effective. Nowadays, audiences’ engagement requires better quality of topics and higher levels of presentation. Do not let your slideshow be the whole presentation. Just mention keywords and include photographs that help you continue your presentation.
- Be spontaneous, speak smoothly, forget about the notes and just create a direct speech based on these notes. When the audience find that you are not just reading notes, they will be more interested and engaged and will see how much of a professional and confident person you are. You can practice to present before the time of the presentation; at home, with the help of friends or family. Just trust yourself and do not deviate from the main subject.
- Whoever told you that you should look over the audience at the back wall, he/she is definitely wrong. Eye contact is what makes the audience engaged. With every idea, make eye contact with a different person. You can also draw a “Z” letter with your eyes, following the audience from the back corners to the front rows.
- Make sure you repeat the question for your audience. Some people may have been busy doing something and didn’t get the question, and others may be hard in hearing. Also, repeating the question helps you think twice about you coming speech.