Improving presentation skills
In our daily lives, we engage in various kinds of communication under various circumstances. Many people however have poor presentation skills and this tends to affect the impact of their messages. Having good presentation skills is something that enables an individual to articulate issues well and enhance understanding. This discussion focuses on various ways to improve one’s presentation skills.
One of the things required to improve one’s presentation skills is to carry out a research about the audience. There are different kinds of audiences and they require certain level of expectations, which provides a basis for your presentation. Knowing the needs of your audience allows you to tailor your presentation to target there interest. For instance, a presentation meant for students on a given topic will not be similar to a presentation meant for a given delegation. Therefore, by understanding the audience, it becomes easier to present the topic.
The presentation should be structured well in an organized manner. The structure of the presentation should be simple. The opening of the presentation should make an emotional connection with the target audience, it can be a question or a story that help to create positive atmosphere for the presentation (Kessler, 2013). The body of the presentation should address three or the most important points. This is to ensure that the audience does not loss interest in the presentation. If the presentation length, many of the audience may not follow up and this may turn out to be boring. It is also important to memorize some of the points so that not all information is written down. The facts in the presentation need acknowledgement. This makes the presentation more appealing and credible. The closing statement is the last opportunity that you have to leave a positive impression about the presentation. This should be interesting and achievable by going back to the opening statement when calling for an action.
Another important thing to do is to ensure that you do enough practice. You must rehearse the presentation in advance to be able to acquaint yourself with the issues to be presented. A good way to ensure successful practice is to rehearse by talking into a mirror, asking a person to listen to you or talking to a wall. This practice makes you to have confidence and to understand the ideas to be discussed well making the presentation look easy. Rehearsing is not to memorizing. Memorizing presentation may lead you to make mechanical errors and appear to have over-rehearsed.
It is also important to calm your nerves. When presenting, avoid anxiety, have a positive attitude, and be confident in yourself. Sometimes people are anxious because they feel that what they will say will be received otherwise. Preparing well in advance and taking deep breath in and out enables one to manage nervousness. When delivery verbally, it is important that one engage the audience, understand the tone of the voice, avoid speaking softly as this is viewed as lacking in confident, avoid colloquial, and words such as don’t. Understanding your body language is also important when presenting. Body language is a nonverbal cue that plays a key role in the communication process. Presenter should stand at a comfortable location; maintain eye contact with one person at time. The presenter can also use other mediums to enhance the presentation such as PowerPoint. For instance, when using PowerPoint the sentences should be short and clear, entertain and should enhance the presentation. The presentation should be relevant and clear to enhance understanding. This means that the audience should understand the language.
Presentation skills of an individual develop with time through exposure and practice. Through continuous experience, an individual learns and improve on his or her presentation skills. It is very important, to have confident, to understand the audience and to arouse the emotions of the audience by communication effectively and clearly.
Kessler, S. (2013). How to improve your presentation skills. Retrieved from: http://www.inc.com/guides/how-to-improve-your-presentation-skills.html