Are you looking for amazing presentation skill tips? Then you can rest assured that this is the right article for you. Standing in front of an audience isn’t as easy as it looks. With some practice and the following presentation skill tips below, however, you will have an easier time giving an excellent performance:
1. Plan the Presentation
You should first plan your presentation on paper instead of on the software (PowerPoint or other). This will help improve your creativity (Source: nuatraining.co.uk).
2. Avoid Bullet Points
Instead of using bullet points, follow the philosophy laid out by Steve Jobs. Use demonstrative pieces and pictures to capture the idea you wish to put across.
Here’s a video of Steve Job’s masterful presentation at WWDC 2011:
3. Reinforce Ideas
You also need to learn how to make your ideas stick for longer (Source: Made to Stick by Dan and Chip Heath). The stickiest ideas are those that are emotional, credible, concrete, unexpected and simple. Where possible, frame them using a story.
4. Ignore Mistakes
You are human and bound to err. Should you make a mistake while presenting, you should not panic. Instead, acknowledge the mistake, laugh some and move on.
5. Use the Audience
Get the audience to participate. Where possible, ask questions to keep everyone alert and aware of the presentation. This reinforces your presentations. If the audience is unwilling, tell those seated at the back to come in front. This will engage them to participate in your presentation. Where possible, ask everyone to either switch off their mobile and electronic devices.
6. Be Flexible
Do not tie yourself to the presentation. Instead, you need to learn how to assess how much your participants are learning and how much they already know. Then, modify the presentation such that you can use the time available to meet their particular needs.
7. Allow Audience Direction
Ensure that the audience directs and orders the content of your presentation. If you are using slides, this can be done using custom shows, menu slides and links with other presentations. Ask the audience what interests them most and use any available content first. Where possible, research the audience and incorporate your flexibility in the presentation.
8. Don’t Read the Slides
Paraphrasing works more effectively than reading directly from the slides. It will also keep your audience on their toes because they have no idea what you are going to say next.
In the same way, you shouldn’t try reading everything that is on your screen. Use as little words on the screen as possible so that the audience focuses more on you and your spoken word.
9. Set Up Early
You should also set up early enough. Then, inform the audience what you plan to cover during the presentation. As the presentation progresses, refer back to the initial agenda. Use highlights to show how far you have come.
10. Outsource Help
Consider getting some help from outside. Professional writers and presentation experts can see things you would never be able to. This means that they can also give you a new perspective on the project (Source: article10.com).
11. Add Credibility
You can also use personal anecdotes and examples to add credibility to the message. Learn more about your audience and find out what would be more meaningful to them during the presentation. In so doing, ensure that you are positive. After all, projection is perception.
Remember that good slides are highly visual but lack words. Therefore, they have marginal meaning and relevance without you. After all, slides should provide support to the message you wish to pass across, and not to the presenter.
However, you still need to issue handouts which members of the audience can refer back to. This way, they will not forget your message sooner or later. Use the handouts wisely including the slides as the visual reminders of the presentation you gave. Then, add tables, graphs and any notes that will remind participants.
Here, you can use notes page functions from PowerPoint or Keynote before printing the notes pages and the slides to PDF before distributing them among the audience. This gives participants nice- looking documents with slides on each page top. Underneath you can append more detailed notes.
Keep the presentation as short as you possibly can. Similarly, say everything you need to say in the fewest words possible. Once in a while, add a black screen that will keep all eyes and ears on you. In this way, you can rest assured that the presentation slides will not steal your thunder and reduce you to a voice-over.
13. Be Yourself
You also need to use presentation skill tips that teach you how to be yourself. Do not try imitating styles that do not fit your presentation. They will only end up causing an immediate disconnect and disengagement with the audience. If you are funny, use lots of humor and some case examples. On the other hand, you can talk calmly as if you are having coffee with your audience.
The implication here is that you need to hone in on your skills so that you become the best you can be- and not another person. In so doing, however, you should not worry too much about your hand gestures and voice.
Although these can make all the difference in your presentation, you can still institute other changes on the whole presentation that will leave a greater impression on the target audience.
Another of the important presentation skill tips would be to practice as much as possible. Those who don’t practice will only have one chance to deliver their presentation loudly- in front of other people. Needless to say, this thought is very sobering and should compel you to practice more.
As you practice, try varying your pitch and pace. The only way you can stand out whenever you get excited and frenetic would be by integrating areas of calm in your speech.
You can also use mirrors to impress your audience. With mirrors, you may not have to look back on your screen. Instead, use the remote control to hit all cues perfectly. You do not need to see every little detail to know what is going on behind you.
15. Concentrate on the Audience
Presentations are more about the audience than they are about your stuff and you (Source: PRESENTability.com). As you answer questions from the audience, try to appeal to what is in it for them. Overall, all these presentation skill tips will improve your understanding and capacity to give excellent presentations.