7 Tips to Improve Presentation Skills
Professional presenting or client presentations can be a scary and difficult process, especially if you are new to it or have a fear of public speaking. A successful presentation doesn’t just happen, there are skills and techniques that can be utilized during your presentations to help enhance your presentation. These skills and techniques are easy to tackle with a little bit of practice. Here are some simple techniques that can boost your presentation and make it successful:
Maintain Eye Contact and Smile While Presenting
Eye contact is so important during a presentation. Not only does consistent eye contact keep the listeners engaged, but it also shows confidence. Maintaining eye contact throughout your presentation will make your audience feel more connected to you. Maintaining eye contact will help you feel less nervous and make you feel like you are having a conversation with your audience instead of just sharing facts. Some ways to main eye contact during a presentation are:
Find someone you feel comfortable looking at in the audience.
Share a statement or two with each individual audience member before moving to another person to share another bit of information with (this will also help slow you down so you don’t rush through your points.)
Every time you start a new section, find a different point to focus on.
Being prepared is a key factor when it comes to successful presentations. You should never just “wing” a presentation. Practice and consistency are very important to help drive your presentation to success. If you know your content and the intention of your messaging, you’ll never have to memorize your speech. Even if you are an expert in the field that you’re speaking on, nerves can get the best of you, and that’s when practice comes in handy! Some ways to stay prepared are:
Practice in front of a crowd, not just by yourself.
Record yourself and then re-watch how you delivered your message. Learn from your mistakes and try again.
Memorize key points in your speech in case you get off track.
It's ok to have a notes sheet nearby in case you get off course.
Use Different Types of Media
There's no denying it, presentations can get monotonous. When you’re throwing a bunch of facts and words, people have a tendency to get bored or doze off. Not to mention, everyone has different learning styles. Some people enjoy images or videos rather than words and speaking. To help maintain the attention of all of your audience, try utilizing different types of media. Don’t just focus on the words, consider various ways you can demonstrate what you're saying. Some examples of media you can use are:
Audience Participation Polls or Questioning
Speak the Language of the Audience
When you start creating your presentation, it's important to keep in mind who your audience will be. Every presentation will be different: sometimes you may be speaking to experts, and other times you may be speaking to people who are learning for the first time. Your presentation language needs to meet the needs of whoever is in that audience. You can’t use technical terms if your audience won’t understand what you are saying. Always keep in mind the people you are talking to and how formal/informal or technical/general you need to aim your presentation messaging.
Watch Your Angle
Watching your angle while presenting is a simple thing that a lot of people forget about. While giving a presentation, it's easy to forget about the details like where you are standing and what you're doing with your body language. This is especially important if you have slideshows or graphs supporting you in your presentation. When speaking to a group, you may find yourself pacing back and forth, and eventually, you may be covering the information you want your audience to see. Make sure you determine how you will stand or what areas you can safely walk without blocking the view. You also want to make sure that the audience can see your face at all times. With larger audiences, you may find your back is sometimes facing some of your audience members. This may mean that you need to rotate your position to keep an open visibility to each angle in your audience. It’s important to keep your positioning in mind while presenting to ensure everyone has a good experience.
Use Your Personality
Personality and charisma are what keep your audience engaged! This is SO important when presenting as presentations can become monotonous. There’s nothing worse than sitting through a long, flat presentation and listening to someone read word for word off of a screen. Using your voice inflection and showing personality during your presentation will keep your audience interested. They will also find you much more likable. Don’t be afraid to be yourself and share your information from your own perspective. It’s also helpful to use a story-telling framework to keep the information interesting and engaging! Sometimes humorous comments and fun moments can add life and personality to a successful presentation.
More Visuals Than Text
When it comes to using props, try utilizing more visuals than text. You have a voice, and you get to use that throughout your entire speech. It’s hard to listen to someone talk and then read the same thing they are saying on a screen right behind them. Remember that YOU are your presentation and the words or image behind you are just supporting your main points. When preparing your presentation, try thinking of images, graphs, and visuals that can serve as supporting documentation for what points you are trying to get across. Don’t repeat your message word for word on a screen.
Whether you’re presenting to an audience for educational purposes or participating in a business venture like introducing your firm and your services to a potential new client, we understand the challenges that can arise. With the right techniques and skills and some presentation coaching, you can feel confident in your presentation skills and actually enjoy it! 30|90 Marketing can help you deliver a concise message to your audience, develop engaging slides and visuals for your presentation, and coach you to be the best communicator you can be. Follow our social media for more marketing tips and tricks!