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Let's be honest, most presentations we listen to are simply boring. They can vary from class presentations at your school to business presentations at work, but the style remains the same.

In this post I'll share some tips which will make your presentation effective.

PREPARATION TIPS

Use neutral background and readable fonts. When preparing your POWERPOINT presentation, make sure the backgrounds on the slides don't interfere with the text and the fonts are simple and large (avoid using boldface, italics, and ALL-CAPS).

Keep it simple. Simple presentations combined with simple graphics make a great presentation. Some people think they need to squeeze as much data as possible on the slides, but the idea is wrong. The slides are given to reinforce your points and visualize them for the listeners, but not to provide extra information. Avoid using jargons and very specific terms. There is always a chance the audience won't understand what you are saying and eventually, they will lose interest.

Practice your speech. You can practice on your own or with a friend. The more you practice, the more confident you become. A good friend can also give you great advice about how to improve your speech.

PRESENTATION TIPS

Check your equipment before you start. I don't think I need to comment on this one. It's obvious you don't want to find out in the middle of your speech that something isn't working properly.

Make eye contact with the audience. Don't just look at your slides or, even worse, your shoes, when giving a speech. The audience has to feel connected to you. Talk to them if you want to keep them engaged.

Don't read from slides. Trust me, the audience can read, you don't have to do it for them. The information on the slides are just bullet points for you, use it as your plan only.

Be dynamic. It's much better to be standing instead of sitting. You can use gestures, facial expressions, body language, etc. When you are active in front of the listeners, they can't help looking at you and listening to you. You make them feel interested and engaged.

• Keep it short. No one is interested in a presentation that goes on too long. A good presentation contains only the necessary information. Respect your audience!

Cristina