Presentations can be a stressful process for some but a natural skill for others. In data analytics, an important part of your work is presentations. Something that we often talk about in The Data School is how important storytelling is. It keeps your audience engaged throughout the presentation and a good story will be more memorable than simply stating facts and numbers. Let’s take a look at five ways that you can start implanting today to become a good presenter.

 

Tip 1: Presentation notes

The first tip is to prepare presentation notes. Instead of preparing a script and reading the script word for word when presenting, it is much better to create dot points to touch on throughout your presentation. When presenting, it is inevitable that at some point, things may not go your way. For example, you might forget where you are up to in your presentation. It is easy to lose your way in a page of words but much easier to find which dot point you are up to.

 

Tip 2: Who is the audience?

The second tip is to consider the audience you are presenting to. Do you know who will be coming to your presentation? If it is a client bringing additional members from other departments of the business, it is important to email your client asking who will be attending the meeting as well as any others who will be joining and what their roles are in the business. For example, if you know that you have a sales manager attending the presentation and you have some information that is related to the sales for a store, you can always say the name of the sales manager and convey your insights to them directly. This will help you prepare content that you know will be related to the different roles and your audience will be able to walk away with something from your presentation.

 

Tip 3: Speaking with clarity

The third tip is to consider the environment you are presenting in and adapt how loudly you are projecting your voice. Depending on the size of the room, you will need to change how loud you speak. A good way to go about this is to always speak as if you are speaking to the person in the back of the room. If the person in the back of the room can hear you, then the person in the front of the room can also hear you. If you are still unsure, it’s a great idea to ask if everyone can hear you clearly. Not only is it important for people to hear you but projecting your voice conveys confidence in what you are saying. Anything that distracts someone from the message will hinder your ability to get your point across. This includes “ums” and “ahs” that we are used to using in everyday conversation. Recording yourself and reviewing the way you speak can help you improve how clearly you speak and project your voice.

 

Tip 4: Presentation structure

A straightforward and powerful presentation structure comes from the quote “Tell them what you are going to tell them, tell them, then tell them what you told them.” This three-part structure may seem repetitive. However, it provides a strong structure for your presentation with a good introduction, body, and conclusion. It may seem awkward or forced at first but the more you practice, the better you will become at implementing this structure.

 

Tip 5: Presenting online versus in-person

This last tip is a very important one. Since COVID, we have all struggled with making your presentation engaging whether it is online or in person. Now that we have come out of lockdown, we have become more flexible with how our audience joins us for our presentation whether that is in-person, online, or a mix of both. It is important to consider how you can cater to both audiences to ensure you are engaging everyone. For in-person attendees, it is important to maintain eye contact with them and speak to them. For online attendees, you should locate the camera and look directly into the camera to make eye contact. For a hybrid, it’s important to divide your attention between the two and not neglect one or the other too much.

The Data School
Author: The Data School