The session covered the structure of a presentation, covering aspects of an introduction, content and conclusion, as well as the use of props and equipment, such as slides and microphones. Furthermore, I discussed verbal and non-verbal forms of communication, ensuring a consistent delivery and approach.
One of the main areas of conversation was around strategies to help overcome nerves. In this regard, I often advise against writing a presentation out word-for-word, as this creates pressure to follow an exact script and shifts the focus towards reading content, rather than delivering content. Instead, I suggest that a presenter focuses on remembering the key points they wish to convey with flexibility in delivering the rest of the content. This has the advantage of providing a more natural style of presentation and ensures that a presenter only needs to remember the key points they wish to communicate.
It is also important that a presentation is targeted towards the audience, for examples a sales presentation would have a different approach to a presentation that provides a status update on a project. It is also necessary to be aware of the outcomes you wish to achieve, and to be mindful that these outcomes may be different to each of the individuals who are receiving the presentation. For example, in an advocacy context the presenter is obviously seeking to secure policy change, while the attendees would be consideration the wider implications and implementation issues of such changes.
Presentation skills improve with practice and it is worth noting that everyone has their own preferred style of communication. A presenter needs to know what their strengths are and to utilise these abilities when delivering a presentation.