How to Improve your Presentation Skills
Do you wish to improve your presentation skills. Whether you’re applying for a new position, or you’re looking to move up in the reigns in your current company nearly every professional position requires some type of representation skills. Although we know it’s an utterly important skill to possess, the topic of presenting in front of an audience is often one that still scares a lot of people. Fact: 54% of Americans list public speaking as a fear above their own death. And they have a good reason to, most people’s presentation skills are, let’s be diplomatic, weak.
Everyone has the potential to create beautiful and successful presentations, and everyone’s presentation skills can be improved. In fact in many situations your personal success is contingent upon it. If you don’t feel as confident as you possibly could, or you’re an experienced presenter you always have ways to improve upon your presentation skills. Here are the best tips and tricks to make preparation for your presentation swifter, the execution flawless, and the overall process less stressful:
Getting the Facts Right Is Essential for effective Presentations
Think of all of the presentations you’ve seen in the past, how many of them did you really give all your attention to? Let’s face the facts; chances are your audience is only half paying attention to what you’re saying. Can you really blame them?
You can take this information in one of two ways:
You can think of it as a relief. if you’re the nervous type find comfort in the fact that many of your audience members are busy texting, daydreaming, or dozing off and this should take some pressure off of you: If most people have poor presentation skills you will typically have an easy act to follow.
Take special note (before presenting) who your audience is and want are the most important facts they need to take away from your presentation. Since you’re taking into consideration your audience is only half listening, you want to make sure they’re getting the half of the info in the presentation that’s the most important to them. Ensure the visuals in your deck aid these essential facts to leave them no excuses for not taking away the proper facts.
Start finding your relevant facts by writing out an objective plan for your audience’s retention. Ask yourself what actions you want the audience to take in response to your presentation. Write down a list of objectives and all of the possible ways you could inspire action from your audience. Remember the last memorable presentation you have attended? If the speaker had good presentation skills, he/she probably was quite explicit about what they wanted you to get out of their presentation.
Once you’ve completed a thorough list of all the possibilities begin reading them through over and over again, editing, and becoming more comfortable with the text. This helps build confidence, and allows you to elaborate and shape your presentation on the spot. Given the conversation taking place during your presentation there’s multiple different ways your conversation could unfold, knowing all of the alternatives beforehand helps you guide yourself more fluently. That being said, make sure your visuals help to guide you as well and they’re not too specific to one specific route or alternative, make them tell the bigger picture of your presentation.
A Great Presenter is a Human Presenter
Being human and relating to your audience on both a social and emotional level can really help to improve your presentation skills by getting in front of your audience and telling them something personal about yourself. This doesn’t necessarily have to be related to the meat of your presentation, you can really ensure your audience has connected with you. Not only does it help them connect with you the presenter, but it helps you get warmed up to your audience.
Share something personal about yourself with your audience
Start off with something you’re comfortable with, be it a narrative that you’ve told many times, or even something as simple as stating facts about yourself. “My name is Lucille, I’m 29 years old, at home I have one daughter and a cat and I have never spoken in front of such a large audience before”. This gives you sometime to realize what kind of audience you’re working with. How receptive are they?Are they visual thinkers? are they eager to take notes, etc., So you get some time to prepare before jumping into the bulk of your presentation.
Public speaking Experience – even small audiences count
Like many things in life, presentation skills won’t come to you easily by just reading them in this article, or even by reading all of the books in the world about great public speaking skills. The most important way to improve your presentation skills is by practicing, by going out in real life and doing. There are several easy ways to practice in a more welcoming less nerve-racking environment.
Many businesses offer Toastmasters groups or seminars to help you improve your presenting skills. If you’re not yet part of a company but looking to improve your public speaking skills to get further in your career you can easily seek out these courses or Toastmasters groups in your community or online.
Practice makes perfect. Even if you start out slowly within your colleagues that you’re comfortable with by presenting to them what you’ve learned. Speaking in front of a small audience can be much harder than presenting to a large group. But a small group is far more forgiving. So if you have mastered the ability to present to 5 people you can be confident in your abilities to speak to 1,000. Practice gives you the platform and the skills to feel better about your presentation skills and improve them. Ask your colleagues to give you feedback, hearing your audiences responses gives you an objective view of what parts of your presentation need more work, whether it’s your main point, your visuals, or something as small as the tone of your voice.
The best presenters didn’t become great public speakers overnight; it took them a lot of hard work, and probably a lot of failures too. Once you’ve built up a lot of experience in presenting it makes you feel more comfortable amongst your audience and gives you the power to go to different places with your improved presentation skills.
Now that you’ve conquered your fears and learned some great skills to improve your presentations and you’ve gone out and started practicing; you can start to pay more specific attention to detail and elaborations in your presentations. Using presentation tools like emaze you can create and customize your own beautiful visual presentation that will stand as the perfect guide to help you through. Now that you’ve got the skills flaunt it with the beautiful selection of emaze templates to accompany those great new skills.