Before you present, you’ll need to prepare presentation material, such as a Powerpoint or digital slide deck, speaking notes, or a poster.
First, have a clear message or focus.
Picture your audience. Jot down a few key details about them, like what they might already know about your topic and any context or jargon they may need explained.
Think of the main message you want the audience to walk away with and try to capture this in one sentence. This will help you keep your content on track as you put together your presentation. Your audience will only remember a fraction of what you say, so you’ll want your message to be clear and focused.
Develop your topic in a clear and organized way. With the purpose and message in mind, create a structure or roadmap. Not all presentations need to be told chronologically. You can follow the typical story structure: set up the plot, introduce the problem or challenge, share how your team tackled the issues, identify potential solutions, and finish with a resolution, which can be a list of recommendations or next steps.
Introduce your topic by giving the audience an overview or agenda.
By listing the topics you will be covering, your audience will be more able to focus on what is at hand, rather than wondering what is to come.
You can further develop your points by providing real-life examples, such as quotes or testimonials, data or statistics, and even photos of your work process. By giving examples, your content will be easier for your audience to understand.
Do your research and cite your sources.
If you share facts or details, ensure that your sources are cited accurately. Nothing weakens your credibility more than misstating information for your audience.
Close the loop.
Much like a written paper, your conclusion should connect back to your introduction.Highlight your key points and consider your message or a takeaway that you want your audience to leave with.
If your presentation has moved slowly, condense this section but don't eliminate the conclusion. Your presentation may appear to lack direction if you don't offer closure for your audience. Finally, be prepared for questions. A friend or colleague may help you anticipate and practice answering these.