Above all, know your audience and match what you say to their needs. Creating your presentation with your audience in mind, will assure that your audience will follow you. If your presentation doesn't appeal to your audience - no matter how well you have developed your presentation - your presentation will fall on deaf ears.

This leads us to the next rule: Know your material thoroughly. Your material needs to be second nature to you. Practice and rehearse your presentation with friends, in front of a mirror, and with colleagues. If you are speaking in a second language, make sure that you record yourself and listen a number of times before going to practice with a native speaker (if possible).

Remember that you are an actor when presenting. Make sure that not only your physical appearance is appropriate to the occasion, but also the tone you use is well chosen. If your topic is serious, be solemn. However, it's always a good idea to begin your presentation with an ice-breaker.

Don't worry about making friends, rather lead the audience through your materials in a calm and relaxed manner.

Speak slowly and clearly, and remember to address everyone in the audience - even the person the farthest away from you.

To achieve the above goals follow these tips when giving your presentation:

  • Speak with conviction. Believe what you are saying and you will persuade your audience.
  • Do not read from notes. Referring to notes is fine, but do so only briefly.
  • Maintain eye contact with your audience. Making direct eye contact with individuals will help them feel as if they are participating in your presentation.
  • Bring handouts. Don't just use a PowerPoint presentation. Provide audience members with handouts of the most important materials so they can keep your most important take always in mind.
  • Know when to stop. This cannot be underestimated. You need to make your case, but continuing for too long will only ensure that the audience forgets what you have said.
 
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