Practicing, refining, and improving your presentation skills will not only make you more confident, but you will advance to success in your job more quickly. Great presentation skills is not only benefit your professional life but also essential life skills that you should use in a variety of situations. Here are some small tips that may help you to enhance your presentation:
Be well prepared before your presentation
Confidence and preparation make it easier to take the lead and drive the presentation as planned.
1. Use less text and more visuals in your presentation
Know what are key messages that we are going to share to the audiences and make it as condensate as possible.
Almost all of us have been with experience before: sitting in the meeting room and trying our best to stay interested and engaged with the presentation of someone. The presentation lacks of images , color, and all sense of creativity while containing a long-form paragraphs and an over-abundance of text. These types of presentations are horrible for two reasons:
- The first reason being that the minute you show the presentation on the screen, the listener will direct their attention away from you to begin reading and completely tune you out.
- The second reason is if your presentation skills are not strong, not only will your presentation be dull to listen to, but it will be boring to look at as well. You will quickly find out how easy it is to lose most of the attention when you create a lackluster presentation.
2. Keep the presentation as short as possible
Every single person’s time is valuable -especially at work, so do not waste the meeting time. Try to keep your presentation going as planned. Ensure that you are only sharing the most important information. All of the extra fluff will bore the listener and you will lose their attention very quickly.
It is a great idea to wrap up your meeting with key takeaways and action items. Doing so will ensure that no matter how quickly your meeting ends, your team understands their next steps. You can send out a quick, summarizing slide deck or an easy to read one-pager for their reference later.
3. Practices speaking in front of people
Practice always makes you become better.
It is important to remember that your stress is most likely caused by your unfamiliarity with the scenario, not by a lack of preparation. The more comfortable you are with taking the stage and having everyone’s attention on you, the less nervous you will get.
The best way to implement this practice is by starting from a small thing. Prepare a presentation for your friends, family, or closest teammate.
When you practice in front of others more regularly, you will feel more comfortable with the focus, allowing you to properly transmit your thoughts the next time it is your turn to speak in the meeting room.
Be connected to your audience always
1. Keep your eye contact with the listener
This is an obvious tip that will help you go a long way with the listener.
Remember that losing eye contact and looking everywhere but at the people that you are presenting to is a very common nervous behavior. Pay attention and make sure you have your eyes on at least one person.
2. Do not forget your body language
Smiling, hand gestures, eye contact, and a powerful stance all exude confidence.
If you don’t have strong body language and are showing physical signs of nervousness (ex. tapping, shaking, darting eyes, and many more), the listener will have a hard time focusing on what you’re presenting, the fact that you’re nervous and probably don’t know what you’re talking about as much as you say you do.
No matter how nervous you are, take a deep breath and take it easy.
3. Welcome questions and comments during your presentation
Be flexible throughout your presentation. Answer questions and respond to any comments from the participant. But the most important thing is to try to control and remind them to focus on the question that is related to your presentation only.
Also, take some time out at the start or your presentation to ask the listener some icebreaker questions and slowly transition into the more important stuff.
Taking this minute to talk through anything that the listener is thinking of is a good thing because it means they are engaged with you and really pay attention to your words. Doing so will also relax the format of your presentation, allowing you to feel more relaxed and confident as well.
Most people do not naturally have excellent presentation skills. That is something is learnt and practiced through time. As with most things in life, you must constantly try to improve your skills to get better and better.
I do hope that some of my sharing that I have experienced during my work will help you to improve your presentation skills. By doing so, you will find that presenting at your key meetings becomes easier and more exciting.