Presentations are something that we’re all familiar with. Whether you are watching one or giving it, chances are you know what works and what doesn’t. However, in case you don’t know what else to improve on as a presenter, here are three tips to help ensure you are giving an amazing presentation:

1.       Know Your Audience:

As an admissions professional you can find yourself giving presentations to a wide variety of groups. Some may be to visiting students and families, others to upper administration at your institution, or even a group of middle-schoolers. Because of this, no presentation is one size fits all. There is no need to be a standup comedian in front of the President, but go ahead and crack a few one liners in front of 8th graders. On a serious note, I recommend doing as much research as possible on the group you are presenting to beforehand. By doing so, you will be able to deliver the appropriate message.

2.       Make It About Them:

I know I hate when I get talked at, and many others do as well. Make sure you are able to interact with your audience and create a conversation. An easy way to do this is to ask open-ended questions throughout your session. Also, encourage your group to ask questions back to you. In most cases you will have a pretty quiet group, so find ways to engage them early on with humor or a bit of excitement. Another strategy to try is story telling. For example, if you are presenting in front of a group of visiting students, help paint the picture of what it means to be a student on your campus.

3.       Be Different:

If your presentation isn’t unique compared to every other school’s, how will your institution stand out? You are not only branding your institution, but also yourself. So, find ways to be memorable. How? You need to show some character when you present. If you stand up and are monotone the entire time no one will care. Slow your pace down when trying to make a point, but also increase your volume when talking about something exciting. Move around in the room, make eye contact and be honest.

It’s important to remember that crafting your presentation is a skill that can always be fine-tuned. Even though I wrote a blog post about presenting, I by no means am an expert at it. I continue working on ways to improve my delivery, my content, and getting at that emotional appeal. I encourage everyone reading to do the same!

PS: The title of this blog post was derived from a joke I tried to crack at one of our visit days…in front of 900 people. No one laughed.