Presentation skills

Tips for delivering public presentations.

At MRO Accounts we can advise business owners in the Hemel Hempstead area on many aspects of running and growing a business. Here are some tips for delivering effective presentations...

Good presentation skills are an important business asset, yet all too often speakers fail to represent themselves, or their subject, to full advantage.

The art of a good presentation is not confined to the naturally outgoing - indeed, it involves a number of skills which need to be learned. Follow these pointers to help make the experience of giving a presentation more successful - and enjoyable.

Prepare

  • Get to the point. Decide on the key points you need to make in the course of the presentation
  • Put your spin on it. Highlight what is interesting, unusual or important about your subject matter, in order to engage your audience and make an impact
  • Assume nothing. Don't make your audience fill in the gaps. Important background information should be outlined, even if only briefly
  • Clarity is everything. Try to see the presentation from your audience's perspective. Are your points clear, and does your presentation have a logical flow?

Practise

  • Rehearse the part. Practise in front of a friend or colleague, or a mirror. Look out for any distracting mannerisms, such as fiddling with your papers
  • Know your stuff. Make sure you are familiar with the points you wish to make, and that you know how to use any presentation aids
  • Check out the back-up. Slides, charts, etc, are only an asset if they are clear and used to illustrate a point
  • Make your notes work. Use a series of words or phrases that will prompt you, rather than full sentences. Put notes onto small cards and double-space them: this will make them easier to see, and also allows for natural pauses

Deliver

  • Check the details. Make sure you know when and where you are to give your presentation
  • Dress the part. Wear clothes that are smart but comfortable
  • Take control. A little nervousness is not a bad thing - but don't let your nerves get the better of you. Looking down at the floor and speaking into your notes will be a turn-off for your audience
  • Breathe deeply. Take a few deep breaths before you begin. Look up at your audience - and remember to smile
  • Act the part. Project your voice. Speak as naturally as possible, so that your words have intonation and meaning. If possible and appropriate, inject a little humour.
  • Encourage participation. If you don't know the answer to a question, you can always offer to send on further details

Do's and Don'ts of presenting

Do

  • Do think of your audience
  • Do be enthusiastic about your subject
  • Do speak clearly

Don't

  • Don't hit a monotone
  • Don't retreat into your notes
  • Don't leave your audience to do the work

Remember the most boring of subjects can seem interesting if presented in an interesting way - and unfortunately, the opposite also applies!

If you are in the Hemel Hempstead area and are looking for support and advice from a team of professional accountants and business advisers, contact MRO Accounts.

What our clients say:

“Working with Melody is an absolute pleasure. She handled my accounts with complete unflappable professionalism and navigated her way thought the HMRC hoops. In my first year of business I was employed, unemployed and self-employed, all within 12 months - not a simple situation! And she does it all with a smile :)”

Thank you Mel, you let me get on with my job confident that my accounts are in safe hands

Dee Fagg, 3D-VA

“I have known Mel for 6 months and in that time she has managed to totally organise my accounts and make me company be more efficient, what used to take me a long time, takes her a very short time, she makes it seem easy and is able to make me understand what I should be doing and the easiest way of doing it! My accounting life is now so easy not a time to be dreaded!! Thank you Mel!”

Claire Lee, Venue Queen Ltd

“MRO Accounts have been very helpful in the early stages of getting my business started, with clear advice and guidance that has really helped me sort my finances out. MRO Accounts have always been very prompt and speedy in dealing with any of my queries, which is very important to me and gives me every confidence that I am dealing with professionals. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend their services.”

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