Tips on Presentation Skills

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In the business world, everyone is often expected to present new ideas to staff, clients, partners, or even the public. Some of us are born with the gift of the gab while others aren’t. but all is not lost.


Presenting skills can be developed easily if we actively work on them. Here are some points to keep your
presentation top-notch:

Managing nervousness


Most of us have stage frights but the good news is we can overcome them.

 

Here are two techniques to overcome nervousness:

  • When you are up in the front, pull yourself together. Observe people at the front row and start introducing your topic. This way, you are narrowing down your audience to put yourself together. As soon as you are comfortable with your audience and mustered your courage, move on by looking at the crowd in the middle row and back row. This helps you to familiarize with
    your audience.
Figure 2: Photo by kampus production from Pexel
  • Another technique that works is to build rapport with your audience. You can do this before the presentation. Chat with as many people as you can, find out more about their work, challenges they face, their expectations from your presentation, etc. Once you start presenting, you would feel more comfortable as you already “know” them and understand their expectations.
Figure 3: Photo by Fauxels from Pexel

Prepare your contents well


Content should be prepared in advance and read aloud to oneself. This will allow you to understand if your content is too long or too short, if it needs more structure, or if you need to revise the language.

 

  • Make sure to be well prepared before you start your presentation. Do your research. Put yourself in your audience’s shoes – know what your audience expects from your presentation, in terms of content and style. Not only would your presentation be informative, but it also would
    also be relevant for your audience.
  • Structure your ideas so that your audience will understand the flow of your content. Mention the objective clearly, state the agenda, and summarise at the end.
  • Before you start preparing for your presentation, find out the duration you are given. By doing so, you would be able to prepare your content and deliver your presentation within the given time. You do not want to bore your audience with a lengthy presentation.
  • If you are presenting to a client, get to know their company, organization, and the challenges they are facing. Knowing these details would greatly help you to be more convincing

Practice and rehearse well


Practicing and rehearsing before presenting is important. It gives you the opportunity to identify any mistakes or areas that need improvement. If you improve on these areas, then your presentation will be more effective and persuasive.

  • Many people take practice too lightly, assuming that they will be able to wing it on the day of their presentation. This assumption is incorrect as there are many things that can go wrong when giving a presentation, even if you have given one many times before.
  • Practice your presentation in front of your friends or you colleagues and not just in front of the mirror. Your friends and colleagues would give you the feedback that you need. Besides, it would give you the confidence to present in front of a crowd and make you well prepared to face any questions or feedback.
  • Another way of practicing would be by recording your presentation. This would help you to identify the areas that you would need improvement and correct yourself along the way. Remember, once isn’t always enough. Keep practicing till you get the hang of it.

Strive to improve your presenting skills


Continuously learn and improve your presenting skills if you are serious about it. Here are some suggestions:

 

  • Watch YouTube videos. You would be able to watch the presenters present with confidence. This is where you observe and take note of their presenting style, body language and the way they speak up. By doing so, you’ll be able to reflect yourself as the presenter and improve your skills.
Figure 4: Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexel
  • Read books on the topic. Different people have different styles. Find out which one resonates well with your personality. There would be tips that you can learn to capture your audience’s attention. Learn what works best for your audience.
  • Join coaching or training sessions. To boost your presentation skills and to present confidently, you can join coaching sessions or trainings. You would be able to learn how to be well-prepared, how to present yourself to the audience, how to present your ideas confidently and many more.
    •  
Figure 5: Photo by Ketut Subiyanto from Pexel

Everyone is now working from home. Therefore, every meeting and presentation is held online. Here are 5 Do’s and Don’ts that you can use to presenting virtually.

The do's

  • Always remember to rehearse. Rehearsing doesn’t mean revising your notes or speaking in front of the mirror. It requires preparing technically, from the slides to the WIFI connection.

 

  • Test your audio, camera and internet before the meeting to check you’re heard and seen. Your computer should be wired to the internet, not wireless, and ask other members of your household (if they are present) to stay off the internet whilst you are presenting so that you have the full bandwidth. Get some help from the tech experts if you are unsure about your tech settings.

 

  • Keep your presentation short and effective. People’s attention span are known to be lesser online, and they are likely to be distracted by their surroundings, so keep your message clear and simple.

 

  • Give breaks in between your presentation. Your audiences need a break and so do you. Make it quick to gather yourself up before you start again.

 

  • When you are presenting online, pause in between and slowly change your head direction from left to right, as if you are scanning your audience. This allows you to embrace the pause while not causing your audience to think that you are frozen or something is wrong with their internet.

The don'ts

  • Treat it as a normal video call. Just because you are presenting virtually doesn’t mean you should have a lack of enthusiasm.
  • Accept your audience to be focused. As humans, we get distracted and so does the audience. Perhaps try popping some questions to keep your audience on track.
  • Take all the responsibility. You would tend to fall apart if you are to set everything by yourself. Give others the opportunity to handle the event and you focus on the presentation.
Figure 4: Photo by Cedric Fauntleroy from Pexel