STEP UP WITH YOUR PRESENTATION SKILLS!

Most of us have experienced dull, irrelevant, or confusing presentations.  But think back to the last really great presentation you saw – one that was informative, motivating and inspiring. Wouldn’t you love to be able to present like that? We share some insights on how you can improve;

1.All in the Preparation

Steve Jobs was an inspiring speaker. His speeches may have looked effortless, but, in reality, each one took days or weeks of preparation. Careful preparation is important. The amount of time you spend on planning depends on your situation, but it is really good to do it early as you can never be too well prepared. Proper preparation also helps you manage presentation nerves. When you know your content inside out, you are far less likely to feel nervous.

2.Check out the Equipment and Venue First

Imagine that your presentation starts in an hour. You arrive at the venue and, to your horror: the projector won’t work with your laptop! The slides you spent hours preparing are useless. This is a disaster!

You can avoid such a situation by taking time to familiarise yourself with the venue and available equipment at least the day before your presentation. Often, the sort of problems that can jeopardise your presentation will be situations beyond your control, but this does not mean that you are helpless. Conduct a risk analysis to identify potential issues, and come up with a good “plan b” for each one.

3.Your Presentation is for your Audience, not you!

Sometimes, speakers can get so wrapped up in delivering their presentations that they forget about the needs of their audience.

Start your presentation by telling your audience what to expect. Let them know what you will cover first, whether and when you will stop for a break, if you will be taking questions during the presentation and so on. Providing these ‘signposts’ up front will give your audience a clear idea of what to expect, so that they can relax and concentrate on your presentation.

4.Pitch your Content Accurately

The primary purpose of any presentation is to share information with others, so it is important to consider the level you will pitch it at.

Do some research on your audience. Why are they here? How much do they already know about your topic, and what do they most want to learn from you? It is no use giving a presentation that is so full of information that no one understands you. But you would also not want to patronise people either.You can also try to greet individuals as they arrive on the day, and ask questions to get a feel of their level of knowledge. This will also help you to personalise your presentation and make a connection with each person in your audience, so that they will be more attentive to what you say.

5.Keep it Simple

Short, concise presentations are often more powerful than wordy ones. Try to limit yourself to a few main points. If you get too long getting to your point, you risk losing your audience’s attention.

The average adult has a 15 to 20 minute attention span, so, if you want to keep your audience engaged, stick to the point!

For more on presentation skills or any other soft skill training please contact us on 0702 369224.

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