At some point in your events career, you may be asked to do a presentation. Even the most outgoing and bubbly person can get nervous at the prospect of presenting. Whether you are trying to land a new client or hoping to secure your dream job, presenting is something that you will need to get used to. Thankfully, there are a few steps you can take to make creating and presenting a presentation as stress-free as possible.
If you want to make sure you rock the presentation of your next event, make sure you follow the following steps.
Choose your main points
Think ahead to the moment when you’ve just finished your final slide. What do you want your audience to remember the most? Think about the main ideas you want to communicate and then build a plan around these. When creating a presentation, many people make the mistake of diving straight into creating the slides without really thinking about the structure. Don’t do this! Before you touch your deck, think about the main points you wish to communicate and use these to create an outline.
Pick your images, videos and audio
Once you have an outline, think about the images, videos and audio that will best communicate your message. Events are often multimedia experiences, so you need to choose the sights and sounds that will go hand in hand with your message. Using your own event images is preferable, particularly if you are pitching for a new client. If you don’t have professional images of your own events, find stock images that closely match them. If you are going to use stock images, make sure that you address this in your presentation so that your audience doesn’t think you are trying to pass off someone else’s work as your own.
Design the outline
Now that you have the main points you want to make and all of the images, videos and audio you are planning to use, you are finally allowed to start making your slides. Make sure you include an introductory slide and a conclusion slide which features your contact information. If you are presenting to a large audience at an event, you could also include a relevant hashtag to create some social media buzz around your presentation.
Keep words to a minimum
The cardinal rule of presentations is to keep words on the slides to a minimum. Your audience can either read the slides or listen to your voice, you can’t expect them to do both! In an ideal world, your presentation would have a few words to introduce each section and then rely on your presentation skills to guide the audience for the rest of the way.
If you are nervous about presenting, keeping words to a minimum might scare you. However, looking out at a sea of lost faces as they try to read and listen at the same time can be much worse.
Tell stories in your script
Storytelling works. If your presentation lacks structure, try to tie it together with a story. Think about popular storytelling arcs and try to include this in your presentation. For example, could you tell a story about an event that was going horribly wrong that you managed to turn around? One helpful thing about telling stories instead of presenting is that it can help to calm your nerves. Telling a story feels a lot more natural, as it is something that has actually happened to you. It’s also a lot easier to memorise as the content will be more memorable.
Once you are happy with the content of your presentation, it’s time to practice and refine it. Gather a few people that you trust and ask if they would be happy to give you feedback. This will not only help you to memorise your script but it will also help to make sure you have communicated your points clearly. If anything is unclear, you’ll be able to catch it now instead of in the middle of your big presentation.
Do a tech run
Things can and do go wrong. Make sure you have access to your presentation online and offline. Make a backup and then make a backup of your backup. On the day of your presentation, do a tech run so that you know everything works as it should.
It doesn’t matter if you are presenting in a giant hall from atop a stage, or in the boardroom. Always take the time to get comfortable with the space before your presentation.
Stop making changes
It can be tempting to keep making tweaks and changes to your presentation until the very last moment. Try to refrain. Leave your presentation alone and try to think about something else for an hour before you have to present. Go for a walk, have something to eat, take a moment to enjoy some deep cleansing breaths. Just whatever you do, don’t keep changing your presentation!
Who are we to be dishing out advice about events presentations? We’re the UK’s leading event recruitment specialists. We help the brightest event candidates to find their dream roles, whether they are based in London, Leeds or Manchester. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you grow your career in events.