Five Principles of Being a Better Presenter

 

During the last chemistry lab symposium, I heard eight presentations and conveyed one myself. I learned a lot of interesting and practical knowledge about chemistry. But today’s subject is about the skills of how to be a better presenter,which I learned during that session.

Among all the presentations I heard, I liked Johnny’s the best. The second one went to Casey. Both of their presentations taught me something important when giving a presentation –

Principle 1: Don’t be afraid of being dramatic, enjoy the show!

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Principle 2: More interaction, more efficiency

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By watching Johnny’s and Casey’s presentations, I realized that a presentation should not be a mechanical recitation. Instead, an efficient presentation is expected to be highly interactive, with eye-contact and emotional communication with the audience. As presenters, we should consider ourselves more as a talk show actor or actress with not only verbal but also physical performance, such as lively gestures and facial expressions. Don’t be afraid of adding some dramatic factors and just enjoy the show! Relaxation and humor can affect the audience and leave a strong impression.

 

Principle 3: Less is more

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This is a very universal rule which is recognized and applied by many people, like Coco Chanel, Johnny (my favorite presenter), and bikini producers. A good ppt should have more concision and less distraction. In Johnny’s ppt, there were no long and tedious sentences but only concise key words. There was one thing I noticed during the symposium – people won’t really pay attention to the sentences on the screen. The only focus point is the presenters themselves. A qualified presenter should be fully prepared and have memorized all the words he or she is going to say. Thus the ppt on the screen should only be an abstract for the audience, not a teleprompter for the presenter. Also, as an audience, long and crowded pages will only make me zone out.

 

Principle 4: Spend more time on fashion, seriously

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Spending some time on the composition and the style of the ppt makes a lot of difference. Let’s face the truth, although inner beauty is important, we humans are still not evolved enough to ignore the obvious outer beauty. A well-arranged and stylish ppt can catch audience’s attention at first glance.

 

Principle 5: Q&A session: well-prepared answers will make you look more professional

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My third-favorite presenter Coxey impressed all of us by giving organized and reasonable answers to all the questions about her topic asked by the students and professor during the Q&A session. On the other hand, some other presenters seemed to become a little awkward when being asked for answers at the end of the presentation.

So, next time I will spend some time on the Q&A session by predicting the audience’s questions and preparing the best answers I can give. As presenters, we should think highly of the Q&A session because it is the final part of the presentation. Fluent and reasonable answers will make the presenters look more well-prepared and professional. Also, the Q&A session is a chance to interact and communicate with the audience. Realizing at which part we fail to convey a clear point or give enough explanation can help us do better next time.

 

To summarize, the five principles I learned are as follow:

Principle 1: Don’t be afraid of being dramatic, enjoy the show!

Principle 2: More interaction, more efficiency

Principle 3: Less is more

Principle 4: Spend more time on fashion, seriously

Principle 5: Q&A session: well-prepared answers will make you look more professional

Finally, don’t forget that a good presentation should be an enjoyment for both the presenters and the audience!

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