As we get closer to our next conference, we have put together a few tips to help you prepare for your presentation. Fellow presenters will be evaluating your presentation. Presenters with the highest marks from their peers will be awarded the Best Presentation Award.

Here are some helpful tips and suggestions for a successful presentation:

Rehearse and prepare! Practice your presentation before hand. Rehearse in a place similar to where the actual presentation will be and talk thorough your presentation out loud several times.

Make eye contact. Engage with your audience by making eye contact and smiling. This will help you connect with your audience.

Follow the 10-20-30 rule.The 10-20-30 rule as described by Guy Kawasaki allows for 10 slides, 20 minutes to present, and using a minimum of 30-point font on all slides.

Suggestion 1: Don’t have too many slides. Too many slides will lose the audience’s attention.

Speak Effectively. Practice speaking how you would talk during your presentation. Speak clearly, slowly, and concisely. Speaking slowly can help to calm nerves and makes it easier for the audience to follow your presentation.

Relax & Breathe. Practice breathing. This can help calm nerves during the presentation. Remember, you know this information!

Be organized. Make sure your presentation and slides are structured and organized. This will help you keep on track during your presentation and help keep the audience’s attention.

Suggestion 2: Don’t add too much animation and sound effects.

Simple layout. Keep the layout of your slides simple by using easy to read fonts, colors, and backgrounds. Times New Roman, Arial, Calibri and Helvetica are a few suggestions.

Don’t use hard to read fonts such as scripts.

Use keywords. The information on your slides should be kept at a minimum. Use keywords to help get your message across. Keywords should help you remember what you are going to say.

Keep information to a minimum. Slides convey key messages you want your audience to take away.

Suggestion 3: Don’t make the audience read. Refrain from using and stay away from ‘word walls.’ The audience should not spend more time reading the information on the slides than listening to presenter.

Body Language. Most communication is nonverbal. Engage the audience by walking around, using hand gestors and making eye contact

Suggestion 4: Don’t cross your arms, have your hands in your pockets or behind your back, pace the room, or stand in front of the screen.

Suggestion 5: Add graphics, images and videos as long as they are not distracting, and their message contributes to the facts of the presentation.

Suggestion 6: Use your slide show as a prop or visual aid to your presentation.

Suggestion 7: Add colors in to highlight important words and phrases. Just make sure your words are still legible.


And remember

…you know the information you are presenting.

…it is ok to make a mistake and be nervous.

…take a deep breath.

…you’ll do great!