Tag Archive for 'Communication'

How You can Improve Your Presentations Skills With These Simple Steps

Public speaking and presenting are very important skills to master, especially in the workplace. Presentation skills are increasingly important in almost every role. In fact, in surveys of employers, good communication skills, both written and verbal, are seen as two of the top five most desirable attributes of employees.

Here are our guidelines to help you improve your presentation skills:

Confidence

Confidence is one of the most important traits to have whilst presenting. A confident speaker will have an authority that reassures their audience that they know what they are talking about. They are also much more likely to get their message across. However, saying that you should be confident and actually being confident are two different things. Luckily, there are methods that you can use to help to build your confidence:

Preparation: The three most important things that you should do for your presentation are; preparation, preparation and preparation. There is no substitute for taking the time to thoroughly plan, prepare and write your presentation. Preparation will not only make you confident about the material, it will enable to craft a coherent structure for your presentation that will most effectively get your message across. Remember, the more that you prepare, the better that you know your material and the more confident you will be.

Rehearse your Presentation: Once you have written the presentation, rehearsal allows you to see if it actually works. It lets you see if the presentation slides are effective and also if the overall timing is correct. The more you can rehearse the better, especially if you can rehearse in the place where you are going to be delivering the presentation. An added bonus is if you can practice the presentation in front of others. Even practising in front of friends or family can help to build your confidence.

Know your Audience: Being familiar with your audience can greatly help your confidence. If possible, analyse your audience prior to the presentation using research and surveys. If this isn’t possible, you can always take time to talk to and get to know your audience immediately prior to your delivery. This isn’t always easy, but getting to know and understand those that your are delivering to can definitely boost your confidence.

Concise and simple

Another key thing to remember is to keep things simple. We have all been in presentations where the presenter has overwhelmed us with too much information. Another of the benefits of all that rehearsal that we talked about earlier is that it will enable you to spot and remove any unnecessary information.

It almost goes without saying that you should avoid jargon, especially when you are talking to a group of people unfamiliar with your topic. Even when you are talking to peers and experts, keep technical terms to a minimum. If you must use them, spend time so that you are able explain them in simply.

If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough.”

– Albert Einstein

Enthusiasm

Enthusiasm shows that you believe in your content. Enthusiasm is also infectious. If you care about your topic, your audience is liable to, too. It’s important, however, to convey that enthusiasm:

Change your Tone or Emphasis: It is vital that you vary the way you talk during the presentation. Speech is both verbal and vocal. How you say something is just as important as what you say. Emphasis for key words or concepts, pausing, speeding up or slowing down appropriately can all aid you greatly. This is somewhere else where rehearsal can help you greatly.

Speak Up: Vary the volume of your voice and the pitch. Again practice helps with this. You can even use emotion appropriately to convey your passion and enjoyment about the topic.

Research

It is almost redundant to say that you should have the best understanding possible for the topic you are discussing. If you are unsure, then this is likely to show. Knowing a subject well helps with your confidence too.

And don’t forget to prepare by researching potential questions that may come up. Not only will this help you to deal with these issues if they do occur, it is almost certain to improve your own understanding. Once again, you can ask colleagues or friends and family to mock-ask you possible questions to get practice answering them effectively.

Focus on your Audience Needs

Most importantly, you need to remember the prime reason you are doing the presentation in the first place and who it is for. The presentation is for your audience. It is not for you. When working and worrying about it, it is easy to forget this crucial point.

Always remember that it is what audience needs and wants to know, not what you can tell them, or want to tell them, that is of primary importance. And presentations are two way things, like all communication. As you deliver your presentation, always be focused on your audience’s reaction and respond appropriately to it.

For professional help from our dedicated team have a look at our communication skills courses or presentation courses to help you stand out in the workforce and impress your co-workers.