Standing at the front of a room of X amount of people, sweat dripping from your brow and your heart pounding in your chest.
You want to do the best you possibly can. If you know that your presentation design is good, it is one less thing to worry about.
Control the controllable… and hopefully the rest will follow.
So, what goes into a successful presentation?
I spoke with Members of the Sports Therapy Community during a Facebook LIVE about this very topic and promised a follow up blog.
So here are my 14 steps to a successful Sports Therapy Presentation which you can apply when going for a job, talking with players/coaches or teaching…
1. Who is the audience that you are targeting? This make a big difference to how you pitch your presentation. You may want to know their demographic backgrounds, interests, sports, level of academic attainment… the list goes on. Being able to pitch it directly to your audience allows them to relate and see how your suggestions are applicable in their own settings.
2. What do you want your audience to feel during your presentation and then act upon? Are you trying to get them on your side with your way of thinking? What do you want them to do afterwards? Use these questions twice, once when you are planning your presentation and then again when you have finished your presentation.
3. Have clear learning outcomes for the presentation and, end the end, take home messages. If you have framed your presentation correctly, the audience should have no doubt about what they have achieved by listening to you.
4. Use of personal anecdotes to support the information that you are talking about. True stories really help to demonstrate how your information can be implemented in the real world (it may even add some humour).
5. Put your presentation into a storyline. Storylines really help the audience to stay on track with your message. Sometimes it isn’t appropriate, but other times it can provide clarity.
6. Keep it simple. Over complicated presentations are… well, complicating. Make sure that the message that you are trying to share with your audience can be understood.
7. Use references to provide authenticity. There is nothing worse than a presentation stating facts and figures, but without any references to back it up. I often see presentations on injury treatment without containing references; or having references published over 10 years ago. As an audience member I then have to ask myself, how is this going to benefit me in clinical practice now. Additionally, it is important to include references so that your audience can go away and look at the material themselves.
"Over complicated presentations are… well, complicating."
8. Use wide screen slides. This as simple as it allows you to have more space, which leads into my next point…
9. Use white space to frame your work appropriately. Alongside appropriate spacing use relevant pictures, limiting the amount of text that you are displaying. How annoying is it when there is so much text that you can’t even read it? Large text, with plenty of white space on the slide makes it so much easier for your audience to see the text that you have included.
10. Make one key point per slide. Just one. Expand on it, talk around it, elaborate, but just have one key point/message per slide.
11. Generally, be consistent with your colour/font. Although, colours and font can be used effectively to highlight information or draw your audiences’ eye towards some key text, the majority should be consistent (try using a set theme when planning your slides).
12. End with summary, thank you and a chance for questions (when appropriate). The summary should include a maximum of three main aspects that you want your audience to take away or put into practice.
13. You need to practice, practice, practice. Practicing allows you to iron out any creases in your presentation and you can make sure that you include all of the relevant information. By going through your presentation, you can check that it fits in to time frame that you have been given. Speaking at a conference/workshop? You don’t want to be vastly under/over the allotted time.
14. Providing a handout can be the cherry on the cake of your presentation. This doesn’t have to be a paper-based handout. This could simply be a link to the material online or giving the presentation to the event organisers. My preferred option is to provide a link to a page on your website (if you have one), as it allows the audience to explore your website as well as asking them for their email address to send out the information – building your mailing list/network.
If you have any additional key points for a successful presentation then let me know on your social media - tag me @kristianweaver_
Yours in Sports Therapy,
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