Presentation skills are not innate, they are gradually developed. You may have enjoyed watching a CEO unveil a new product or a flawless TED Talk and wondered what it would take to improve your presentation skills. Well, good presentations don’t come without preparation and practice. Whether you are standing before 5 or 50,000 persons, getting your thoughts across to them in an engaging manner constitutes some level of pressure. And it’s completely okay to soak in all the anxiety.
There is a need to use the right tool while preparing for a presentation and to research as much as possible on the subject you need to talk about. Most importantly, you need presentation tips, especially as a newbie. Our tips for developing presentation skills cover varying aspects, including how to manage your emotions before the audience, your presentation goals/strategy, and its impact.
Here are effective ways to improve your presentation skills.
Coin your story
Conceptualize and frame what you want to present.
Plan your delivery
Would you prefer to script the entire presentation word for word, develop a set of bullet points for it or memorize the entire talk?
Rehearse your presentation as many times as possible.
Attend other presentations
Attend other presentations to learn some of the skills from other presenters.
Give yourself plenty of time to settle before your presentation by arriving early.
Spend some time in the room you’ll be presenting
This will allow you to learn about potential distractions and to get familiarized with the environment more.
Chat with people before your presentation
Talking with some of your audience will give you gain confidence and make you seem approachable.
Plan multimedia and use visualizations that represent your message
Images clearly demonstrating your message give you confidence and a better flow.
Acknowledge that the audience wants you to succeed
Note that most of your audiences are sympathetic and want you to succeed.
Take deep breaths
Taking deep breaths at intervals will help to relax your muscles and get oxygen to your brain.
Smiling makes you feel good at your presentation by helping your body to secrete more endorphins.
Work on your pauses
Include pauses in your presentation to help you gain back control if you miss something due to anxiety. Pausing at intervals will make your presentation more conversational.
Don’t try to cover too many material
Too many materials would complicate your work. Cover as much as you can flow with. It’s not possible to talk about everything you know.
Try to engage the audience
Ask questions and welcome some to make your audience part of the presentation.
Include jokes or light-hearted sides
This helps you feel more comfortable with the audience.
Concede to not having every answer
It’s okay to admit that you don’t have answers to questions you don’t know.
Practice confident body languages
Physically demonstrating confident body languages will help you psychologically to remain confident.
Stay hydrated to prevent cottonmouth.
Accept your fear
Don’t fight the fear, just accept it rather than wasting energy fighting it.