You know the topic. You’ve done the research.  Now, it’s time to create a killer presentation. Let’s face it no one wants to get up in front of a room and bomb. So, what advice can this Marketing Consultant give you to deliver a powerhouse presentation?

Here are some fail-proof steps to follow:

1. Prepare Ahead of Time

Don’t wing it! Believe me, when I say it doesn’t work. Some people are more natural at public speaking than others, but even the most experienced presenter benefits from being prepared. If you don’t take the right steps, you’ll likely ramble come presentation time. Or you may start and even end strong, but may miss a critical talking point. Make a lasting impression and don’t miss your opportunity by preparing well in advance.

2. Outline Like a Boss

Create an outline in bullet form with the major points that you want to hit. It allows you to organize and refine your thoughts as you move forward. Make sure you cover your key points, list out supporting statements, and put everything in a logical order.

3. Know Your Audience

As you write your outline, consider your audience. I recently heard a keynote speaker deliver a speech on, “Myths about Millennials,” to a room that included Baby Boomers and Gen Xer’s. She failed to honor her target audience, even though she was well versed on the topic. She missed a key opportunity to connect because she made assumptions, and missed the mark.

4. Bring a Written Script 

This simple act will help you organize your thoughts and create a meatier address. You’ll create a flow and cover your most important points. which brings us to…

5. Create a Flow

The urban dictionary defines flow as, “A rapper’s ability to vocalize a rhythmic yet complex string rhymes that fit together in a logical and seamless manner.” That is what you want to do, right?

To create a flow, highlight the three most important points of your speech. Did you include some facts or statistics? Have you incorporated transition statements? This is where you can get creative.

6. Write Your Intro and Closing Remarks

It may seem counter-intuitive to write your intro after you’ve written your presentation but this will save you time in the end. Being flexible about when you write this portion of your program will allow you to be more familiar with the content and context of your program. No matter how great your intro may be, if you wrote it from the start, you will likely have to revise it maintain your “flow.”

7. Engage Your Audience in a Positive Way

In your intro, avoid clichés and jokes. It’s okay to inject humor and be funny but cheesy is cheesy. You are going to set the tone here – for you and the audience.

There are several positive ways to grab your audience’s attention. Try making a strong statement or telling a story. You can even ask your audience to sit with a thought for a moment. The momentary pause puts emphasis on the point you are trying to make.

In your closing remarks, make sure to:

  • Restate the main idea of your program.
  • Summarize how your key points support that idea.
  • Make sure your audience knows the next step, such as where they can find additional information, or if a follow-up workshop is available.

8. Create Visual Aids

Many people use a slide show probably the most common visual aid, but it’s not the only way. Creating visual aids for a presentation deserve its own article, but a couple of creative options include:

  • Whiteboard or Flip Charts – A flip chart a large pad of paper on an easel or a whiteboard allows for a more interactive experience.
  • Paper Handouts – Handouts are incredibly useful. The trick is to only give these handouts out during the point of your presentation when it is relative. You want people to stick with you. Also, consider the size of your crowd. Another efficient method of using handouts is leaving white space for key details. You can help the audience fill in the blanks verbally in your lecture.
  • Video – If you have the resources, injecting video into your presentation allows you to break up a speech and support your ideas via a different source.

Return to your outline when you create your visual aids and make sure you’re not doing more than you should. In many cases, less is more.

9. Practice and More Practice

You’ve done the work and now you know how you’ll deliver your ideas. Time to practice! It’s how you’ll become a more polished presenter. It’s when you figure out your timing, where to pause, and what simple hand gestures will add the subtle nuances that make the biggest impact. Practice is where the magic happens.

But Wait, There’s More

There is a so much more to commanding a room and delivering a rock-solid presentation, but this is a good start.

It’s also AMAZING what you can learn from watching a high school debate tournament! South Florida is one of the best districts in the Country. If you have an opportunity to judge or get involved, you won’t regret it.

If you want to polish and put your skills to the test, your local Toastmasters group is a great resource.

Here are some more powerhouse tips to help your brand make a great impression: