Sharing your expertise, knowledge, or valuable information is not an art or magic trick. It is a skill that is honed through practice and exposure to a live audience.
The key is not just the slides or the data you present, but ensuring that your ideas resonate with the audience. Your presentation should not only help them understand, but also compel them to implement the processes or ideas and recognize their value.
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In order for QA testing to be successful, it requires technical knowledge and thinking outside the box. Demonstrations, meetings, and presentations play a critical role in sharing knowledge and staying up-to-date. Out-of-the-box creative thinking is essential for QA success.
Allow me to share my experience and recommendations using my own presentation as an example:
The topic of my presentation is “Usability Testing”. The main objective of usability testing is to observe people using a product in order to identify errors and areas for improvement. However, usability testing is often overlooked as an integral part of the QA process.
Here’s how I prepare for the presentation:
#1) What is the purpose of my presentation?
A successful presentation should provide value to the audience. It should educate, inform, simplify, introduce, compare, and much more, while also engaging the audience.
Usability testing is a well-known form of testing, but it is often considered expensive. Many testing projects ignore it because it is seen as an additional step that may delay product timelines. Therefore, my aim in presenting this topic is to convince the audience of how easy it is to perform usability tests and the advantages they offer. If I can achieve that, my presentation will be successful.
#2) Understand your audience:
Consider the following aspects:
- How much basic knowledge do the audience members have about usability testing?
- Will the audience understand the explanations in a theoretical manner, or do I need to include a demonstration?
- Can my presentation persuade testers to consider including usability testing in their project testing processes?
#3) Content- What points will strengthen the purpose of your presentation?
Make your case. Keep your points concise and consider engaging ways to convey them. Here are some tips:
Tip #i: Incorporate images or graphical content to reinforce your points.
Tip #ii: Keep it concise, simple, and engaging: Avoid writing all the details on the slides. Use them as a guide and do the talking yourself.
Tip #iii: Avoid diving into intricate or complex ideas, statistics, or data, as it may make the audience uncomfortable and intimidated. Ease into your topic and simplify as needed.
At the end of the Usability testing presentation, I have included links for additional information, so advanced users can further their learning and new users don’t get overwhelmed.
Tip #iv: Have fun and connect with your audience. For instance, here is a situation that many can relate to.
In my usability testing presentation, I included a video recording of a real participant using the application for testing purposes. It showed the screen, the app, and the user’s facial expressions. This was a great way to showcase end-user behavior and connect with the audience in a simple yet impactful manner.
Tip #v: Feel free to experiment and try something new
Tip #vi: Conduct thorough research. Nothing is more embarrassing than being a presenter who cannot justify their ideas. Become an authority on the topic, if possible.
Once you have all your materials ready, it’s time to make the presentation – The D-day. 🙂 Here’s my approach:
#4) Practice and practice some more. “Practice makes perfect”.
Remember that your audience will have varying levels of knowledge, so you need to make your presentation easy to understand for everyone. Go over your material as many times as it takes until you feel completely confident.
#5) Maintain a Positive Attitude:
Stay calm and composed. Stand straight and take deep breaths. We all need it. Be polite throughout the presentation (and afterwards as well).
#6) Time to Present: How do you start?
Be energetic, excited, open, and comfortable. Feel like the host and own the stage. You could even include a funny image (like the dog one above), share a silly story, pose a question, conduct a poll, play a game, hold a quiz, or dive straight into the content.
There is no one right way, but starting on a positive note can make a significant difference and make the ‘Presenter,’ ‘Presentation,’ and ‘tool/process/technology’ memorable.
#7) Make eye contact.
This makes the audience feel included and not like they’re listening to a monologue.
#8) Pay attention to your volume, pace, and pitch
Striking the perfect balance among all three can be challenging, but try your best. Being too loud, too fast, or too shrill won’t work.
#9) Plan to answer questions
Anticipate questions and have your answers ready. You may not be able to address every question during the presentation, in which case, take note of the question and the contact information (email) of the person who asked it, and get back to them promptly.
#10) Close with confidence and conviction
Avoid ending your presentation abruptly or letting it drag on. Wrap up your main points smoothly. Provide additional resources and share your contact details for those who want to learn more about the topic.
Also, don’t forget to thank your audience for their presence and seek feedback to determine if your presentation was helpful and met their needs.
#11) Enjoy the praise
Further reading =>
About the author: This guest post is written by Sushma S. Sushma is currently working as a Senior Software Test Engineer in an MNC.
In conclusion, some individuals are natural speakers and presenters, while others, like me, need to put in effort. These are my tips for delivering an effective presentation. What are yours?