Powerful presentation skills are important in the business world. In fact, they are critically important, because your employees’ presentations skills need to be better than the competition’s. Presenting, however, can seem like a daunting task. It doesn’t have to be that way though. Let’s break it down into manageable skills to master.
- Be prepared- Find someone you feel comfortable with, whether it be a co-worker or friend, and practice. Consider who your audience is and think about what you are trying to communicate with your presentation. What message are you trying to get across? Carefully plan out the style and content of your presentation. You may want to video your practice presentation and have someone else evaluate it. Get them to point out your best skills.
- Do some reconnaissance- Check out the place you’ll be doing your presentation. Practice your delivery, including any movements or gestures. Knocking over a planter at the beginning of your presentation can throw you off your groove for the rest of the program.
- Don’t be phony- Sometimes you can over prepare. You do possess skills, be aware of them and trust them. If you practice your presentation ad nauseam, the result will seem stiff and forced. Instead, nail down the opening and the conclusion and hit the highlights in between. After that, let the presentation flow.
- IT- Test out the equipment you will be using in your presentation beforehand. Make sure that you have a backup plan ready in case of technical difficulties.
- Visual Aids- If visual aids will help to grab the interest of your audience while at the same time aid in their understanding of the subject, then by all means, use them. If you are using them just to show off, don’t. You don’t want to muddy a clear, concise presentation with unnecessary clutter. Try using things such as pictures, graphics, or bar charts and elaborating with your words.
- Be who you are- Don’t try to reinvent yourself in order to do a presentation. Take advantage of gestures inflections that are already your own. Don’t try to copy the presentation style of someone else.
- Don’t get too comfortable- A little nerves can be a good thing. If you get too comfortable, your focus may slip. If you try to stifle your nerves, you may look stiff and artificial.
- Don’t forget to breathe- While a little nervousness can be a good thing, it can also cause shallow breathing and extra tension. Take a few deep breaths to relax that tension.
- Have a security blanket- Okay, not a literal security blanket, but the idea still holds true. If you have something to hold onto, something to occupy your hands, it can give you a feeling of security. Try holding a pen or something equally unassuming.
- Slow and steady wins the race- Remember the advice to breathe. When you’re nervous, you may have a tendency to babble on letting your words tumble out like water from a faucet. Your audience needs time to grasp the meaning of your speech. Take a deep breath (or two) and slow things down a bit.
- Engage your audience- Think back to your school days. Did you learn more when your teacher droned on at the front of the class without thought to their audience or when they talked with the class as if they were having a conversation? Engage your audience. Make them feel a part of a conversation by asking questions, posing arguments, challenging them. This tactic helps them to remain alert and pay attention. A good presenter will make the audience want to hear the information they have to offer.
- Be observant- You have prepared a presentation for the audience you imagined, but you need to interact with the audience that is in front of you. See if they’re getting it. If not, you may need to change your approach and come at it from a different angle.
- Use examples- Giving examples can help your listener to connect with your presentation and understand your point more clearly. Sometimes it gets you to your point quicker than trying to explain things.
- Don’t wander- Pick three or four major points and stick to them. If something is going to take longer than twenty minutes to explain, you may want to make up handouts for those points.
- The grand finale- Whether you feel as if you hit it out of the park or struck out, make sure you end on a high note. A strong finish will leave the impression of a good presentation.
At Infotec Training, we offer instructor-led courses that help employees reach their goals and hone their presentation skills. Participants can ask questions and get hands-on experience and feedback. Infotec can customize their courses to meet the needs of your business. So, check out Infotec today!
For more information about Infotec or any of our programs click here: http://www.infotectraining.com/ or https://ops.infotecpro.com/course_schedule/course_schedule.cfm.