Double screens? Make sure you engage with everyone in the room.
Most places only have one projector and one screen. Some places have two and they are quite a few steps away from each other. Some times you have a room that is long and your audiences are spread across on both ends. Don’t stay beside one screen and neglect the other side of the audience. Pace to the other side slowly when you are making a transition or explaining something really simple. This was the hardest part for me and it took me three projects/presentations to be comfortable enough to stand in the middle of the two screens and attend to my audiences on both sides.
Never read word for word from a card.
You might think “Yeah, who would do that?”, but I’ve seen enough people doing that in school presentations to point this out. When you read from the card, you don’t make eye contact with your audiences and engage them. Also, most card readers sound robotic and monotonous.
Always end your presentation by inviting your audience for questions (with confidence).
Don’t assume that your audience will be radio silent and stare at you awkwardly. Answering a question opens the door to endless possibilities. It can be a new idea, a new perspective you’ve never thought of or even impressing someone that they will give you a job.
Remember to address their name, answer their question as precise as possible and ask them if you’ve answered their question at the end.
Keep your answers precise. Answer the question!
When we try to prove our points, we might go on a little more than what was expected by the person who raised the question. If you are nervous, your mind will be racing and you might say something gibberish. Just listen to the question carefully and answer only what is asked.
Never get defensive.
There’s a huge difference between explaining your work and getting defensive. Your audience can tell. If someone disagree with your work or points, respect it and move on. You can have a private discussion after the presentation. Remember that you have a crowd to speak to, not a single battle to fight.
What if you can’t answer their questions?
If you can’t answer their question, don’t panic. There’s no shame in not knowing the answer to every question, even if it is your own idea or product. Tell them that you will get back to them (and make sure you do). You’ll have a better creditability if you are :
1) honest that you are unsure, and
2) earnest enough to go out of your way to answer the question with a follow-up message or email.
Never try to fluff your way through and confuse your audience with gibberish answers. If you do that, there’s a chance that you will be judged based on your gibberish answer because that’s the last impression they have of you before they leave the room. Bad impressions tend to be more vivid and stay longer than good impressions.