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Think People Understand Your Slides? Think Again.

Have you ever presented a PowerPoint presentation and thought to yourself afterward, "Would I listen to myself if I was on the other side of the podium? What is the audience leaving with?". We have all been there whether it was when we were students or perhaps recently when we were forced to start engaging with our audience through a webcam.

We are living in an ever-changing era. The latest trends and technologies are changing so rapidly that it’s almost impossible to keep up with. Meetings and social gatherings are facing new challenges. Presentations have changed form. Gone are the days where presentations were done in person, and many have been affected by this replacement.

Successful Delivery Through Practice

Getting a presentation done might be a routine we are all familiar with. We have all given countless amounts of presentations throughout our lives in a specific format. However, recently, we all hit the "reset button" and we are forced to change our behavior. We present differently and suddenly there is no standard process on how to do this properly.

Even if years of experience has given you the ability to put together perfect presentation slides, a bad way of communicating it can make it fall flat, especially when you communicate it virtually.

This is something that most companies do not anticipate. They believe as long as the slides are good, there won't be a problem with the delivery of the presentation. This has proven to be incorrect over and over again. Have you ever thought, was my presentation boring? If so, a boring presentation doesn't connect to an audience and therefore isn't delivering the full potential of his/her presentation slides. Practice makes perfection, and an underprepared presentation speech will hinder you from delivering the message and developing a connection with your audience. Without any practice, you lack the confidence and poise of delivering a presentation successfully. This results in a lost sale, decreased productivity, and more importantly – a feeling of personal failure.

Articulating your thoughts clearly

The speed and pitch of your voice are important in the delivery of your message. More so, being able to articulate, describe, and relate what you are saying with your audience is how you can create a long-lasting impact with them. If you succeed in making a connection with the audience it means you are a step closer to win them over.

The importance of engagement

Successfully delivering your presentation by engaging your audience and connecting to them is even more important than the content you have on your slides.

Your audience will remember the different connections you made with them, whether you connected to them emotionally or you answered their question of "What is in it for me?". A powerful connection with the audience will leave a lasting impact on them. Most importantly it will make them start considering and thinking about what you have proposed. Let's take a look at a practical example – an influential speaker like Barack Obama who always follows all of these principles.

Barack Obama proves that all that matters is – what the audience cares for.

To begin with, Obama often articulates himself clearly, he is well-prepared and poised. These traits alone are important in making a connection to the audience. The pitch of your voice, speed, and choice of words are all very important in successfully landing a presentation. In addition to that, Barack Obama is very adaptable to different situations. He is able to make connections to the audience, has them envision what he is saying and adapts his behavior based on what they want to know. This adaptability trait is something that can only improve through practice.