Does your mouth dry up when you’re about to make a presentation in front of a big audience? Unfortunately, about 75% of people suffer from fear of public speaking. Moreover, a lack of proper knowledge about presentation skills makes it worse.
Improving your presentation skills can help break the fear of speaking in front of others. If you are worried that your presentation skills are not up to the mark, then this article is for you. Follow the simple 10 steps to improve your presentation skills.
10 Tips To Improve Your Presentation Skills
No matter what line of business you are in, knowing how to deliver an idea is crucial. If you stumble over your planned words and break out in a cold sweat, you need a better approach to improve your presentation skills.
10 pro tips to overcome the fear of public speaking and improve your presentation skills are given below –
Practising is the key to improving your presentation skills. Practising helps build confidence. Moreover, you can learn all the ins and outs of the particular agenda you will speak about.
Practising can help the content become a part of you. You know the stuff you need to know. And focus all your energy at the moment to connect with the audience. Unfortunately, most presenters tend to focus on the material rather than the content. As a result, they fail to make an accurate impression on the audience.
However, practising can help you deliver a rousing presentation. It gets rid of all the jitters you might have before the big day. You can try to do a practice run before your friends or colleagues. Furthermore, their feedback and evaluate the areas you can improve on. It would be better to get the mistakes out of your way before the big day.
2. Practice But Do Not Memorise
Rehearsing doesn’t mean you have to memorise the presentation. In fact, memorising can make you sound too mechanical. A polished presenter can hardly get access into the mind of the audience. Moreover, the audience has a hard time connecting with a far too perfect presenter.
Besides, memorising leaves no room for surprises. If an audience asks an unfamiliar question, you might get startled. In addition, it leaves you with less time to think quickly on your feet on the stage.
3. Use Personal Stories
Stories assist in the idea or message you are trying to sell to the audience. Therefore, making your presentation act as a story will yield better results because humans are built to respond to stories.
Storytelling is essential for a successful presentation. And an excellent public speaker with excellent presentation skills is well aware of it. So use powerful and personal anecdotes to assist in the point you are trying to make.
Consequently, talking about yourself can be even more powerful. Moreover, talking about yourself while sharing personal stories can make you feel relaxed too. Because people tend to feel more comfortable while talking about themselves.
If your presentation acts like a story, the audience is more likely to remember your point afterwards.
4. Deconstruct Other Presentations & Presenters
You can watch videos or attend presentations that you find interesting. Watch how the presenters make their case. Study their tactics and techniques. Analyse the mistakes they make and think to yourself. Then note down what you could have done differently.
You can have access to countless videos on the internet of all time famous speakers. Study their demonstrated speaking skills and mirror their tactics. Besides, you can highlight their approach and execution by deconstructing the speech. To model their presentation skills, you need to speak and repeat until it is mastered.
Moreover, watching earlier talks of other presenters gives you a chance to feel out the crowd. You can scope out the mood of the audience. And analyse whether the folks are usually in for a laugh or a bit stiff. You can play off your presentation in strategic and tactical nature by taking these pointers.
To enhance your presentation skills, enrol in the presentation skills- the art of presenting course. You can learn the practical techniques of an effective presentation. This CPD accredited course will help you to get your message across to the audience effectively. Whether you are a business professional or a student, increasing your communication skills is imperative.
5. Don’t Forget To Add A Dash Of Humour
Humour is so important to lighten up the mood. The audience feels more connected and comfortable if you include some jokes in the presentation. Also, light-hearted humour makes the audience more receptive to your slides full of information.
Consequently, a well-timed joke can help you break the ice with the audience. Keep in mind; no one wants to sit through a boring and dry presentation. Besides, getting a laugh from the audience is suitable for your confidence level. First, however, make sure that your audience will be able to relate to your joke.
Light humour works wonders for the audience. And you don’t even have to be a stand-up comedian to implement this. So humour is one of the most important presentation skills you can ever use. Moreover, light-hearted presentations turn out to be the best all the time.
6. Keep The Audience Engaged
Always try to retain your audience’s attention. Keeping your audience engaged throughout the session is one of the crucial presentation skills. You have to make each member of the audience feel as if you are directly speaking to them.
Establish a good rapport with the audience is crucial to the level of success of your presentation. Welcoming audience participation can boost engagement. Moreover, it makes the audience feel like they are a part of your conversation. You can involve the audience in the session by asking them interactive questions.
Consequently, make sure your questions are simple and easy enough to answer. You don’t want to face the wall of silence from the audience with tricky questions.
Moreover, you should answer straight away if you get a question in the middle of your presentation. It is better not to wait until the end of the presentation because it could lead to the interrogator losing interest later on.
7. Summarise & Include Take Home Points For The Audience
Do not end the presentation abruptly. You need to rephrase your idea and summarise the whole presentation before the session ends. Moreover, give your audience take home pointers. It provides the audience with something to think about and keep them attached to the message you presented.
You can summarise the take-home points while wrapping up the presentation. Make sure the ideas presented as take-home points have a lasting impression on your audience.
8. Expect The Unexpected
Unless it is a scripted reality show set, not everything will be executed as per your plan. Anything can go sideways, and you must be prepared to deal with it. So often, most confident presenters get thrown off their track while working with technology.
Always have a plan B in case your laptop crashes or the Wi-Fi network drops. Consequently, carry a separate Pendrive for your audio and visual aids. Tech problems will be one less thing to worry about if you are already prepared.
9. Organise Your Material
Creating the framework of your speech is essential for a detailed presentation. It is one of the crucial presentation skills one can master. You can section your speech by noting down the topic, general-purpose and specific purpose. Then, write down the central idea and key points of your speech effectively.
Remember that your audience is listening to your presentation to understand your way of thinking about a particular issue. So, you need to be as precise and concise as you can be! The presentation should be insightful and full of actionable information. However, don’t condense vast and complex material into a 10-minute presentation.
Besides, the success of your presentation depends on knowing what to include and what to leave out. Use the speaker notes feature in presentation software to jot down important points. It will further expand your slide outline.
Learn more: Listening Skills
10. Don’t Fight Your Fear
Transform that nervous energy of yours into something positive. Things will only get worse for you if you start fighting your fear. Instead, you should rather learn to accept and embrace your fear. Accepting makes it easier for you to overcome your anxiety.
Consequently, don’t get yourself worked up over exposing your nervousness to the audience. Most audiences are sympathetic. And they understand the difficulties of presenting in front of a huge crowd. Consequently, the audience understands how nerve-wracking it must be for you. And they want to see you nail the presentation.
So, harness your nervous jitters into positivity, and you will be golden! If you start getting anxious, remind yourself your audience are your friends. And you will quickly see a shift in your energy.
Public speaking is not an easy task. However, you can become great at it with good presentation skills and the right mindset. Whether you are addressing a crowd of thousands or a handful of people, the outlined tips are here to help. You can become the great presenter your audience will love by improving your presentation skills.
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