The views of this article are the perspective of the author and may not be reflective of Confessions of the Professions.
Technical presentations are a great way to show people what you can do for them. These are specialized events that involve both audio and video components. The mix of high-tech and human narration can make for a presentation that is highly effective. Here are some tips on how to make your next event a memorable one.
Giving a technical presentation is not the world’s easiest vocation. You may well have a natural affinity for giving talks to a crowd. However, it will be up to you to develop the skills that really put you over the top. You will need a full course of specialized technical presentation skills training to stand out.
This is education that is easily available for a reasonable cost. The time and money that you put into tech presentation training will be well worth it. You may already have the confidence that is required to engage an audience. But this extra training will give you the edge you need to convince and educate them.
The first thing you need to keep in mind is that you are facing a live audience. This means that you need to do all that you can to hold their attention. Stand straight up and face them at all times. Keep your voice calm, cool, and even. Don’t show fear, don’t sweat, and don’t look like you want to be somewhere else.
The last thing you should ever do is turn your back on the audience. This can be tempting when you are feeling nervous. It’s okay to turn to face the screen when you are changing slides or making minor adjustments. But as soon as you have done so, you need to turn back around. Make as much eye contact as you can.
You should also make a point not to stand too long in front of the screen. Doing so makes you look waxen and immobile. Move around a bit so that people can see you are animated and engaged in your subject. Standing in front of the screen annoys people and leads to them losing interest if they can’t see the slides.
One of the biggest pitfalls of the average modern live presentation is that the presenter is too reliant on slides. While these are great for illustrating your point, you shouldn’t base your whole talk on them. It’s a good idea to have a healthy mix of visual and oral points that you can bring up. You should also mix in other elements to break up the monotony.
Use the whiteboard when you have difficult points that require more elaboration. This will help you to break the issue down into its components. By doing so, you can bring the audience along with you as you chart its progress from start to finish. This will let them see the point you are making and how it resolves.
You should never assume that every member of your audience is already an expert on the subject. Doing so will result in a talk full of jargon and inside jokes that 90 percent of your audience won’t get. You want to be able to talk to your audience in a way that engages their attention while letting them learn things.
The best way to do this will be to make sure that you know exactly what level your audience is on. Doing so will allow you to tailor your speech to meet their needs.
This doesn’t mean going down to the lowest common denominator. What you want to do is start at the minimum that everyone gets. From there, you can bring everyone up to speed.
It will be up to you to do all that you can to make your presentation as memorable and effective as possible. You can do this by taking the time to set it up in the right manner. This will involve making sure that you connect with your audience in a meaningful manner. Time, patience, and practice are vital.