Today, every modern job requires public speaking skills. Be it to present a topic to higher executives, investors, managers or prospecting customers, being able to craft a good presentation and deliver it, is a must. The skills to plan, develop and deliver a professional presentation are no longer associated with high management, public speakers or academia. The current modern workplace demands its employees to be able to transmit messages across the organization in a way that engage and drive action.
The following paragraphs provide 6 actionable tips applied by experienced presenters that can be considered best practices. Applying them will not guarantee your presentation success but the lack of them shows a lack of maturity in the field. We suggest the reader to go over the tips in their next presentations and use it as a checklist in order to be sure that the basic pillars of professional presentations are met.
Tip #1 – Create your presentation script in order to tell your story.
As most of us, whenever someone is asked to do a presentation, the first action it takes is to open PowerPoint (or any of its substitutes as Google Slides or Keynote) and start throwing bullets in the canvas, in order to organize ideas and content. Even though this sounds like a reasonable path, the process is not as effective and efficient as the one applied by professional presenters. As a professional speaker and consultant Nancy Duarte says, “Messages stick when they are part of a story”. Your message must be scripted. This means it has:
Rise Action (facts and events that lead to something)
Climax (Main topic of the presentation)
Falling action (path to resolution)
Conclusion (call to action)