Join Petrula Vrontikis for an in-depth discussion in this video Ongoing learning, part of Running a Design Business: Presentation Skills.
The best way to learn how to make great presentation is to give presentations, a lot of them. So practice, practice, practice. This is not something you can do by just thinking about it. It would be like trying to learn how to play the guitar by just thinking about playing the guitar. The best test of a presenation is to give it to someone who doesn't know very much about the project. Ask them what does and doesn't make sense. It'll help you know if your language is concise and understandable. You need to become comfortable with the sound of your voice and have an objective assessment of your on-camera appearance.
Record yourself. You'll quickly understand the changes that you need to make for a more effective delivery. Practice raises awareness of what you're doing well, but also what your challenges are. So find a community to practice with. One of the most common is Toastmasters. There are local chapters that meet once a week and provide opportunities to evaluate your presentation, and for you to evaluate those of others. Take an extension course every few years as a refresher.
Watch TED Talks online and see how the pros do it. There are also other courses on lynda.com that can help you develop the skill. There's a list available in the resource files. Practicing helps you become more objective and less self-conscious, so you can focus on your message. You might think I'm crazy, but presentations become really fun. And when you enjoy giving them, the people around you enjoy them, too. Your designs'll be more appreciated, and your ideas more supported.
- Presenting one-on-one, to a team, or to a larger audience
- Choosing a presentation format
- Introducing your design and providing context
- Persuading your audience
- Developing visual aids
- Creating a great first impression
- Understanding verbal and nonverbal cues
- Getting approval
- Facilitating a Q&A session