It doesn’t matter if you’re presenting on stage, in a meeting room, or online. You need to properly prepare for a presentation to deliver your message effectively. You need to plan out your talking points, prepare visual aids, practice your speech, and more. Ultimately, the more you prepare ahead of time, the more polished and professional your presentation will be.
If you want to find out how to prepare for a presentation step by step, read on to discover four simple tips to help you make your future presentations successful.
1. Create a mind map
This is perhaps the most important step and should happen long before the day of your presentation. Creating a mind map will help you organize your thoughts and structure them in a way that makes sense for both you and your audience. It’ll also keep you centered on your main idea, so you never lose sight of the primary purpose of your presentation. The process of creating a mind map will also help you with remembering the content of your presentation.
To create a mind map, you can either use a pen and paper or you can also use Prezi Present. There are different types of templates that you can choose from in Prezi’s library, or you can also start creating from scratch.
Learn how to get started with mind mapping in this video:
2. Set up your space
If you’re presenting online, you’ll want to set up your filming space for success. How you appear on camera depends on many factors that you should consider before presenting. Start with positioning yourself in the camera frame so you’re in good light. It’s always better to face the light instead of having your window or another light source behind you. Also, adjust your camera so it’s not cutting off the top of your head or it’s not too far away. Make sure your audience can actually hear what you’re saying by testing out your mic first. And, remove any distracting or overly busy backgrounds to keep viewers focused on you and your content.
If you’re presenting offline, setting up your space is equally as important. Take 5 minutes before your presentation to work out the technicalities. For example, if you need to connect your USB or laptop to a device in the meeting room, make sure to do that before it’s your time to start your presentation. Also, make sure you have a glass of water nearby if your presentation is rather long to keep you hydrated. Most importantly, familiarize yourself with the space where you’re going to present to feel more comfortable presenting there.
If you want more tips on presenting in the virtual space from public speaking masters, watch this video:
3. For online presentations, use presenter notes
No matter how much you practice, it’s still helpful to have some notes (or even your script) next to you for reference. They will keep you on track with your main talking points and ensure that you deliver your message in an organized manner. While sticky notes around your computer are a serviceable solution, it often results in you trying to keep track of which piece of paper you’re supposed to be looking at. You don’t need to worry about a messy space around your laptop. Instead, use presenter notes directly in Prezi Video, making your life easier as you present or record.
You can add notes as you create your content. This way you can keep track of everything that’s going on in the meeting and take notes at the same time. If you already have an existing Prezi or PowerPoint presentation with notes, you can import those into Prezi Video as well. You’ll also get a preview of the next frame, so you will never be lost as you present. Learn more about using presenter notes in Prezi Video.
4. Practice your presentation
Imagine: You have started your presentation but suddenly realize that one of the slides contains incorrect information, or there’s a technical glitch as you try to zoom in on another slide. Sounds like a stressful situation. With practice and preparation, you can easily avoid or minimize the stress in a situation like this.
One of the best ways how to prepare for a presentation is by simply practicing your speech ahead of time. Create an online meeting with yourself, start sharing your Prezi Video slides, and talk through the presentation as you would in the call. Or ask your friends or family to give you feedback as you talk through the talking points in front of them. You can even play out a scenario where you encounter a technical glitch and plan out what you’ll do.
By going over your presentation a couple of times, you’ll feel more prepared. The more prepared you’ll feel, the more relaxed and confident you’ll appear when presenting in front of your audience.
Follow these tips on how to prepare for a presentation quickly and effectively. Once you have everything set up, get more tips from Jessica Chen on public speaking tips to build confidence, and then jump right into creating your own Prezi video.