Great presentation skills are becoming recognized as a necessary part of a successful corporate person’s arsenal. More and more business interactions require a person to make presentations and it is here that most may find a chink in their armor. To be truly remembered by your bosses or clients, you need to have great presentation skills. Unfortunately, not everyone is a ‘natural’ when it comes to this highly regarded skill.
If you want to polish your presentation skills and make yourself look and sound professional when making presentations, read on. Improving your presentation skills is not just a great move, career wise, but the confidence that you also imbibe can be a great life tip that will further improve other aspects of your life.
Think about your presentation
A good presenter is not just a great talker. He is also meticulous enough to look at the various factors that will have an effect on his presentation and how it is received. Think about what the presentation is about, who it is for, why you’re doing it, where you’re doing the presentation and how you are planning to do the presentation. By thinking about these factors you won’t feel unprepared or be afraid that there’s something that you may have forgotten or did not prepare for. The feeling of being ready for anything is a great way of boosting your confidence and a confident speaker exudes his confidence and affects his audience.
Think of your presentation format
All presentations have something in common – it has an opening, the presentation proper and the closing. But doesn’t mean this is what you’ll strictly follow. As a good presenter you should be able to tweak your presentation to make it more interesting and leave an impact with your audience. Think about the tone you’ll use or the pacing you’ll take to make it more interesting. Even the language you will use will have an effect on your audience. These are things you need to think about and prepare for to make your presentation effective.
The Presentation materials
As previously mentioned, proper preparation is a key to a powerful presentation. This will include the preparation of materials you will use for your presentation. Make sure that you provide enough materials to make your point but not so much that you overwhelm your audience with data.
Practice makes perfect
It is the rare person who can do a presentation without practicing his material. Preparation also means going through your presentation and practicing how you’ll deliver it. Ask a colleague to help you time your presentation so you can pinpoint if your timing is too fast or too slow. Your colleague will also tell you if you are speaking clearly or if you’re talking loudly enough to be heard by people at the back of the room. A common pitfall for presenters is just reading off the contents projected on the screen. A good presenter actually explains what is being flashed onscreen. Take note of the feedback and make corrections where its needed.
Entering the venue feeling confident will help carry you through the initial jitters. If you know that you have made all the necessary preparations, you should feel confident about your presentation. Establish eye contact with your audience and move around if it’s the kind of presentation where you don’t use a podium. Place some interrogative sentences in your presentation even if it’s just rhetorical. This will help keep your audience alert.
Humor is one of the most effective tactics you can use to win your audience. Make some witty remarks if the opportunity arises.
Image from Masternewmedia.org