You’ve put a lot of time into your PowerPoint presentation to make as good an impression as possible. You have conscientiously gone through each slide several times. But what about yourself? How much time have you invested in your own performance in front of an audience?
I’m certainly not telling you anything new when I say that a good set of slides is only one part of a successful presentation. Of utmost importance is the impact of the presenter on stage. In fact, I contend that a confident speaker can hold his or her own in a pinch, even when technology goes on strike and no presentation can be shown. In the opposite case, this will not work.
Exercise … Practice … Practice!
Showing a perfect presentation without the presenter explaining the slides further will have little success. You can’t do it without the man or woman on stage. That’s why you need to practice in your own performance just as much as you need to practice making a presentation. A surprisingly large number of presenters do practice their performance, but often in private. They often go through each slide silently, taking notes on what they want to say. Unfortunately, this is too theoretical to work in practice. It’s a bit like trying to learn to ski by watching others on the slopes. Speaking in front of an audience is rather uncomfortable for most people, but they don’t solve the problem by going to their first presentation without any practical preparation.
If you really want to successfully prepare for your performance in front of an audience, you need to give the presentation several times beforehand. You have to do it with a loud voice, with gestures and facial expressions and with everything that goes with a good stage performance. You don’t have to speak in front of an entire hall with 500 spectators. If you are unpracticed, you may become unsteady even in a circle of five people and get muddled.
Once you already have a handle on your slide set and more or less know what you want to say on each slide, start rehearsing your presentation as realistically as possible. You may want to start on your own first to become a little more confident. At some point, however, you should take the next step and give your presentation in front of other people. They can be family members, friends or good colleagues. Here you can already get a first helpful feedback. And it is better for your colleague to point out that you speak too fast, have your hands in your pockets all the time, or remain too static in one spot, than for an audience that is important to you to make these observations during your presentation.
Improve your own performance with professional help
Much better, of course, would be to give your presentation once in front of real professionals. Presentation training is offered throughout Germany and is aimed at presenters who either have little practical experience or who want to put the finishing touches on their performance. I know quite a few providers who give excellent help at a high didactic level.
Some time ago, I and my colleagues considered how to further optimize presentation training with regard to the needs of the participants. The result is our Presentation Rocket Day, which will be held again this year on the tenth of November. Top experts provide practical tips on truly all areas of optimal presentation. Participants here can make progress in a few hours that would take weeks in normal workouts.
No matter which path to professional presenting you want to take, it is crucial that you move from theory to practice.
Dipl.-Wirtsch.-Informatiker Matthias Garten as the expert for multimedia presentations and professional PowerPoint presentations knows about the art of professional slide design. He is an entrepreneur, speaker (TOP 100 Speaker), trainer (TOP 100 Excellence Trainer), multiple book author, presentation coach (presentation training), member of the GSA and Club 55, organizer of the Presentation Conference, Presentation Bootcamp and Presentation Rocket Day. In addition to PowerPoint and presentation training, he inspires and advises companies to present themselves even more effectively and thus stand out from competitors. He is the business owner of the presentation and PowerPoint agency smavicon Best Business Presentations and with his team has created over 15,000 professional PowerPoint presentations for over 150 industries since 1993.