It is really beneficial to know how to give out an idea, no matter what area of business are you in. However, if you have tried everything about the ways in the books to enhance your presentation skills and are still confronted with the kind of stress that makes you break out over your pre-planned words in a cold sweat and stumble, it’s time to pick up another method.
Having the ability to speak in front of people is not innate, you need to learn and have the skill. Here are 8 methods that can be your reference to give out a better presentation.
1. Ways to improve presentation skills – “Be Prepared“
1.1 Know Who Is Your Audience
The audience is the main element in your presentation. You should know about your audience before you give a speech. Consider your audience age range, profession and interest. This can help you to determine your word choice, level of information and ways to present the data
1.2 Make a Structure for Your Presentation
- There might be something that makes and emotional connection with the audience in your opening in a presentation. This emotional connection may be a story, a question, or a static that is surprising. This should not be a self introduction or a thank you for 5 minutes. Stories that you use should reflect the position of your audience in life and should use characters that are similar to your audience, so this can make them be interested in your presentation and continue to follow your steps.
- Try to emphasis your top three points. Engagement with the audience is far more essential than telling them everything you know. Sometimes you will have to leave some information, but it is probable that questions will pop out about what you did not cover in the presentation. Remember your outcome. You do not write out the presentation script word to word, or even memorize it. You just need to go back towards your top main points and achieved the goals that you wanted. Be ready to view a topic on different perspective. If you accept your competitors or any arguments against your point of view is better or your argument is stronger once you have clarified the other side.
- At the end of your presentation is your last chance for you as a presenter to deliver something to your audience that will be memorable to them. You can add on a slogan at the start and the end of the presentation to emphasize your point.
1.2 Practice, but not memorize
- Of course, you’re going to practice repeatedly before your presentation. While you want to practice more times, you will be spending more time on this. It can be difficult for those with packed schedules. However, it is essential to practice if you want to deliver an impressive presentation. If you really want to sound fantastic, write your speech instead of taking the chance to wing it-if you’re anxious about speaking, you can have a script and refer to it.
- Try to practice with how your speech will be delivered. Some acting strategists suggested that rehearsing lines in different poses, such as standing, sitting, with your arms wide open, sitting on one leg, sitting on the toilet or during bath time (OK, the last two may be optional.) The more you combine your position and setting, the more relaxed you will feel with your speech.
- Do you have a practice run for a friend or colleague or try to record and play back the clip to analyze which areas need work and improve it. Hearing recordings of your past talks can make you aware of your bad habits and also let you question yourself “Is that what I sound like?”
2. How to delivery your speech?
2.1 Verbal Delivery
- According to a Microsoft study, the average individual now has an eight- second attention span. This is a significant decline from the average 12-second attention span in the year 2000. Attention span is short, and people have no patience to read your content if it is too long.
Ask Questions to Keep The Audience Engaged
- Do you remember the time when your teacher in class asking questions when they end a topic? You will be bring back to the reality on the spot if you are not focus. This is a good way to ensure that your audience is following your steps and they understand what you are presenting about.
- Speech patterns that make you look unconfident should be avoided. Speaking softly is discourage in a presentation.
Avoid Fill Words Such As “Umm”, “Uh“
- This can cause the audience to think that you are unsure of what are you going to said. This might indirectly affect your credibility.
Don’t use “Don’t” Words
- Don’t think about cats.
- Now you are thinking about cats, right?
- People is a strange being, as when you tell them not to do something, they will go and do it. Therefore, it is important to avoid phrases like don’t do something. Just tell your audience what should they do directly.
2.2. Non-verbal language
Keep A Comfortable Distance With Your Audience
- Parnell says that stay within 2.5-7 feet from your audience. This suggests a personal relationship to social relationship (at a subconscious level).
- Make sure you make eye contact with your audience. However, don’t surf your audience. Keep eye contact with one person each time.
Show Your Confidence
- Show a confident posture even you are not.
Tips to looks confident (and this may boost your confidence too):
- Stand straight
- When making gestures, arms on your side or in front of your body
- Hands slightly open or slightly close
- Smile or keep your face neutral
- Take long steps
- Make each move purposeful and determined.
2.3 PowerPoint Slides
- A Good PowerPoint slides
- Heavily relies on pictures.
- Has only one or two phrases. in one slide.
- Entertain the audience
- Improve but does not summarize your presentation.
- A PowerPoint Presentation that is bad
- Includes font size smaller than 32pt.
- Contain more than five or six text lines for each slide.
- A logo is displayed on every slide It is unnecessary as your audience will remember who you are.
- Slides printed as handouts and give out to the audience. Your audience will no need you if all the information can be seen before the presentation.