As a project manager, it’s your job to present proposals and many other things. And if you want to convince your stakeholders, you need to be smooth as silk every time.
So how do you keep your project management presentation A-game? By following these tips and tricks, that’s how!
1. The Early Bird Gets the Worm
It pays to make a good impression. How would you do that if you come in later than your audience?
Being early goes beyond just being professional. It gives you time to prepare.
When you’re early, you can check your laptop, projector, mic, and other necessary equipment. You don’t have to worry about having a delayed presentation just because everything isn’t in order.
2. Do Some Research
Even if you’ve been presenting projects for so long, you need to do research every time.
First, you need to learn more about your audience. Are you presenting to executives? Or will you be talking to ground employees?
Knowing your audience will help you structure the proper presentation. You may need to adjust your topics or critical points depending on their knowledge. For example, engineers will look for the technical specs, while finance managers may be more concerned with the cost and budget.
Additionally, doing research will help you prepare for anything that might be thrown at you. It’s not enough to study the data you need to present. It would be best if you went the extra mile as well.
That means researching other relevant things that may be asked of you. By being one step ahead, you’re better able to seal the deal.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
The fate of your project proposal lies in the way you present it. If you want to ace your presentation, then you need to come in prepared.
It’s not enough that you just read your file; you need to know it by heart. The best way to do so is to practice your spiel until it becomes perfect.
For one, you can practice in front of the mirror.
If you want some feedback on your delivery, you need to do it with somebody else. Your pseudo-audience’s suggestions will come in handy for perfecting your presentation.
4. Reel Them In
It’s crucial to capture your audience’s attention right at the start. You don’t go straight to the point without buttering them in!
One of the best ways to do this is to start with an attention-getter, such as an exciting story, statistic, or quote.
You can also start with a thesis or a summary of your presentation. It will give your audience a ‘preview’ of everything you need to discuss.
5. Mind Your Slides
You’re early and prepared. You’ve practiced your entire spiel. Everything was going great until you present your slides.
Death by PowerPoint, they say.
To avoid ‘casualties’ every time you make a presentation, there’s one rule you should follow: keep everything minimal.
Simple is superb, especially when it comes to slide presentations. Nobody wants to see a block of complicated text.
You can make the information easily digestible by following the 5-5-5 rule:
- Five words per line
- Five lines of text per slide
- Only five text-heavy slides in a row
Likewise, your fonts and colors should be simple and easy to read. They should be big and contrasting, for example, using white text amidst a black background.
Tip: If you don’t know which color combinations to use, follow the color scheme of a professionally designed project management template.
6. Be Animated
When it comes to animations, images, or videos, it’s better to keep it on the simple side as well.
It’s okay to use some, but don’t go overboard. Just use the graphics that will help drive the point across.
Remember: having a lot of animations and effects will make everything confusing. In the end, your audience may end up focusing on the animations rather than on the data.
7. Provide Handouts
As a project manager, you should be able to anticipate the needs of your audience. One way to do so is to distribute handouts before you start.
For one, these will help them understand your pitch better. You won’t lose your attention because they don’t need to make a lot of notes.
There’s less distraction as well because they won’t have to ask you to go back to a certain slide or graphic.
8. Have a Plan B
Things don’t always go according to plan. Even if you’re 100% prepared, disruptions can happen. Maybe there’s a power interruption, or the projector mysteriously died on its own.
That’s why you need to have a Plan B. You need to prepare for these possibilities, despite the low chance of them happening.
You can do this with the prior recommendation: handouts. Again, this all boils down to the necessity of practice. You’ll find it easy to present with just hangouts if you know your topic fully.
No handouts? You can always doodle on the whiteboard!
As a project manager, it’s important to nail your presentation – no matter who your audience might be. As long as you follow these eight tips, you can deliver a flawless spiel every single time.