Develop Powerful
Presentation Skills

Effective presentation skills is a skill worth investing your time and money in. It is also a skill much valued by employers. Daily, presentations have to be made to audiences to inform, influence, persuade or to sell an idea, a service or a product. A great deal is at stake here and employers are heavily dependent on presenters to ensure that every presentation achieves its objective.

Preparing to be a Good Presenter

Impressive presentation skills are seldom acquired overnight. If you wish to excel in doing presentations, you will have to go through the mill and gain experience over time. Each experience will allow you to learn from your mistakes and improve on your weak areas.

  • Look for opportunities to do presentations as each experience will add to your effectiveness as a presenter.
  • Begin by taking on the shorter and simpler presentations and handling smaller audiences before you move on to the bigger audiences and more difficult subjects.
  • For the first time, you can do a presentation jointly with another person so that you are not so nervous.
  • Ask for feedback from your boss or colleagues and avoid repeating the mistakes the next time.
  • Attend presentations delivered by more experienced presenters during which you can pick up valuable tips on different presentation styles and how they handle the audience and their questions

Useful Presentation Tips

Be yourself - while you can learn from the better presenters, it is always best to be yourself as much as possible and develop your unique style. Otherwise, you will come across as copying someone else thereby reducing your effectiveness and credibility.

Know Your Audience -Your nervousness can be managed or greatly reduced if you prepare yourself well before you even start to write your presentation.

  • If it is a small audience, find out who will be there, their names and designations and their particular interests. Address the individuals by name. This will make them feel special.
  • If it is a large audience, find out their age group, gender, race, cultural background, educational level and interests. This information is vital to ensure you pitch your message accurately.

Remember the Purpose

  • What is the purpose of your presentation?
  • The entire content will be better expressed and presented if you keep the purpose uppermost in your mind.
  • I recommend the use of PowerPoint as it helps to keep you focused. Besides, referring to your PowerPoint will eliminate the fear of forgetting your essential points.

Preparing the Content

  • What will excite your audience and move them to take action?
  • Humanize, dramatize and give examples of successful stories.
  • Use visual terminology so that the audience can “see” what you mean.

The Speaker

It is not just about giving information. It is about how you deliver it. The message will be remembered if the audience likes you. To retain their attention you have to have to earn it.

  • Believe in yourself and trust yourself to present well.
  • Visualizing delivering a powerful presentation from start to finish ensures success.
  • Feel deeply about your subject. Believe in it and your audience will be convinced.
  • Speak with excitement and passion and the audience will catch it.

Body Language

  • Use body language that comes naturally to you as you express your excitement and passion.

Meeting the Audience

  • Establish common interest.
  • How can I help you solve your problem or improve your situation?
  • Converse with them. Look each of them in the eye.
  • Speak as if one-to-one.

Engage Your Audience

  • Pause and consult them, ask them questions.
  • Look for their reactions and respond accordingly.
  • If there are no reactions, ask them how they feel about what you have just presented.
  • Anticipate their questions and ensure you have prepared satisfactory answers.

Deliver for Impact

  • A good presentation is 20% what you say and 80% how you say it. How you deliver, will differentiate you from others.
  • Begin strong.
  • First impressions last! The first 20 seconds will determine your confidence level for the rest of your presentation
  • Open with a statistic, quote, poem or picture
  • Indicate the objectives of your presentation
  • Powerful ending. Leave a lasting impression.

Make Each Presentation a Memorable One

  • Even when you have to deliver the same presentation many times, treat each delivery as a new one.
  • Treat each audience differently. They are different individuals and deserve special treatment. How you treat them will determine how they respond to you.
  • It is an honor to be a presenter and to have an audience. Remembering this will motivate you to be your best every time.

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