Depending on what job you do, sooner or later you are going to be called to give a presentation. For some people it’s the moment they’ve been waiting for, for others it’s the moment they dread. Either way, we have put together a handy check list of tips, hints and ideas to make your presentations really sing.
It’s about your audience
As filmmakers we sometimes get asked to create content for big presentations, so we know a thing or two about what you need. The golden rule is to put your audience first and have a good think about what they actually need from your talk. It’s easy to get bogged down by trying to communicate lots of raw information. Presentations should be about giving people just enough information to make them want to change their behaviour or find out more. Save the in-depth facts and figures for a hand-out at the end.
Keeping your audience engaged is vital and the best way to do that is by involving them. Ask questions, use supporting material such as videos and images or even set tasks. Take a look at your presenting style and see if there is any room for improvement. Not everyone is a natural public speaker and some people down-right hate it, but there are some things you can do to help. If you are engaged and passionate about what you are talking about people will listen to you more carefully. Approach your presentation with enthusiasm, speak loudly and clearly, make eye contact, smile and try to vary your tone of voice. Ask someone you trust to give you feedback and make suggestions on what you need to work on.
If you are struggling to be enthusiastic then do a little research and try to find the facts or ideas that you can connect with. You don’t have to be a life-long fan of something to find the interesting side. If that doesn’t work then try imagining yourself in the place of someone who is interested in the subject. Ask yourself what they would do. You can even try talking to someone who is interested to see what they have to say and find some inspiration.
There is another way…
If presenting still puts you in a blind panic then don’t worry. Video is an excellent way to get across ideas to your audience without needing to do the actual talking yourself. Use Youtube or Vimeo to find useful clips (make sure they are creative commons licensed videos to avoid copyright issues), download them using something like clipconverter.cc and edit them together using a free video editor such as Windows Moviemaker or wevideo.com. You can even add your own voiceover, music and graphics.
Enjoy your presentation
There are lots of different ways to approach a presentation, but you need to remember that it is about sharing information and encouraging your audience to take some kind of action. Put your audience first and try to enjoy it. For a guide with all our tips download the pdf by following the link below. You might also like our blog on being in front of the camera.
Struggling for video ideas? Read our earlier blog and be inspired!