Improve your presentation skills to ace a presentation like a pro

When you watch TED Talks or any public speaking event, do you ever wonder how the speaker can make it seem so easy? Speaking confidently and persuasively in front of an audience isn’t something that comes naturally for most people. However, it is a skill that can be picked up with enough practice.

Whether you’re simply presenting to fellow colleagues or have to impress some prospective clients, knowing how to pull off a great presentation is an important soft skill to have, particularly if you’re planning on moving up the ranks.

So if you’re in need of some tips on how to improve your presentation skills, look no further. Check these out:

Know your audience

Design your presentation as if you were a member of the audience – put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself what are the three main takeaways you would want them to have by the end of your presentation. Your slides should go straight to the point and not be cluttered with too many words or images.

Make sure that you cover the things that they need to know and would want to know.

You may be an expert in the subject matter, but in your presentation, don’t assume that everyone knows what you know.

Explain things clearly and simply, and avoid using jargon as much as possible. Your presentation should give listeners something of value, be it a solution or a lesson.

Tell it in story form

The best way to keep your presentation engaging is to use stories to hone in on your key messages or to emphasise your point.

Tell an anecdote or two to make your presentation more personal and relatable – it doesn’t even have to be your own story, but as long as it’s interesting and relevant, use it to your advantage.

Go beyond text and pictures by using a short video or other multimedia to spice things up.

However, it should enhance what you’re trying to say, not drown it out unnecessarily.

You should also tailor your content to your audience and the occasion: we’d advise against using funny GIFs or memes in a board meeting (unless your company culture is cool with that and it helps to break the ice a bit – but do so at your own discretion).

Present with your entire body

Statues and robots aren’t known for giving memorable presentations, and that’s because non-verbal cues make up a significant portion of interpersonal communication.

So make sure you’re moving about! But not too much – keep it natural.

Open and relaxed gestures will help your audience feel open and relaxed, too.

One of the best ways to make a connection with listeners is to make eye contact and smile.

Avoid crossing your arms across your chest, putting your hands behind your back or in your pockets, and staring down at the floor.

Use your emotions

Emotions are a powerful thing: facts and statistics may be informative, but if you fail to link them to your audience and the things they care about, they will probably forget what you said by the next day.

Infuse your delivery with emotion and why your audience should care.

When you exude enthusiasm and passion about the subject you’re talking about, your audience will feel it and they too will feel more interested in what you have to say.

Speak deliberately and don’t rush your sentences like you’re reading off a script. Instead, pretend like it’s a conversation.

Practice, practice, practice

You should know your subject matter and key points like the back of your hand, which is why prep work is so important.

Prepare an outline with keywords relating to your main points and examples, and rehearse your speech out loud – either to yourself in front of a mirror, or even better, in front of trusted friends or co-workers.

The more you practice, the more prepared you’ll be when the time comes for the actual presentation.

You’ll be able to weed out what works and what doesn’t, and time yourself to make sure you don’t drone on and on.

Set it up properly

Having technical difficulties during your presentation can throw you off, so smoothing out all the kinks beforehand will ensure that everything goes smoothly.

We recommend that you arrive at the venue early and do a brief test run to check whether everything works, such as videos, animations or sound.

Save a copy of the fonts you used and the multimedia you want to show in a pendrive, along with your presentation.

Do you need the internet during the presentation? Make sure it works and that you’re connected.

If you’re using a remote or a pointer, try them out to see if they work.

Doing all this will help you avoid tripping up just as you’re approaching the finishing line. – Jobstreet

by  Jobstreet.

Read more @ http://www.dailyexpress.com.my/interest/218/improve-your-presentation-skills-to-ace-a-presentation-like-a-pro/

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