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Presentation Skills: 15 tips for effective presentations
A successful presentation requires good presentation skills and effective presentation techniques. Here we provide you with 15 presentation tips for effective presentations. Whether you are an experienced presenter, or just starting out, there should be ideas here to help you improve your presentation skills.
Presenting successfully: 15 tips to improve your presentation skills and give a killer presentation
How do you give a good presentation this is how to succeed.
In order to be able to present successfully, not only the layout and the content of the presentation must be convincing. The decisive step is to convey the content of the presentation to the audience in the best possible way by presenting it correctly. The tips listed below should help you do this by improving your presentation skills. The most important thing to keep in mind is a healthy combination of the tips listed below. (The order of the tips does not give any information about their importance).
Not every tip will lead to a successful presentation. What is important in a presentation?
As mentioned earlier, you should try to implement a combination of the tips to give a successful presentation. It should be noted that not every one of these tips needs to fit in your own presentation. In addition, too many of these tips can make the presentation look overloaded and too "rehearsed". Therefore, think carefully in advance about what you want to pay particular attention to.
Here are 15 tips for killer presentations:
Tip 1: maintain eye contact while presenting and smile.
In order to give each of your listeners the feeling of being important and to make them feel personally addressed, it is particularly important to maintain eye contact with the audience during the presentation. Not only does this exude confidence, but it also helps your audience to connect with you and your subject. It also helps you feel less nervous. Easier said than done right? Here's what can help:
Find someone in the audience who seems to be genuinely interested in the topic and is listening attentively (for example, your lecturer). Make eye contact with this person at the beginning of the presentation. Once you start feeling more calm and confident let your gaze drift over the audience to address the other listeners as well. Keep returning your gaze to the initial person to stay calm throughout the whole presentation.
Another alternative is to find a fixed point in the room (preferably on the wall behind the audience) which you fix at the beginning of the presentation. Similar to the first example, after you have achieved confidence, you can let your gaze wander over the audience and return to the previously selected fixed point again and again.
Don't look at the screen! Don't look at the floor! Don't just look at your index cards! Don't just look at the laptop!
Tip 2: Use of gestures and facial expressions
To emphasize the content of your presentation, it is advisable to use appropriate gestures and body language to get your message across. Avoid crossed arms, hands behind your back, or in your pockets during a presentation. Always stand up straight, and try not to appear tense or stressed. You can do that by using your hands and arms to emphasize what you are saying and get your message across. Your facial expressions should always be friendly and open. Smile and show that you enjoy the topic and you are confident in the information you are presenting.
Tip 3: Avoid distractions
Often you will not be able to avoid the use of aids. For example, you may need to use a laser pointer to show something on the screen, or you may need to use a pen to write something down on a flipchart. To avoid distractions for you and the audience, get into the habit of putting down tools you don't need! That way you will not be tempted to deal with them in the first place. You will also have your hands free for gestures.
Tip 4: Be prepared: Practice makes perfect
Practice makes perfect, right? If you prepare well before the presentation, you will feel more relaxed and confident while presenting and it will also improve your body language.
Here are some ways to help you prepare for a presentation:
Rehearse in front of a crowd
Tip 5: Be confident
By appearing self-confident, you convey to the listener that you are confident in your topic and have prepared yourself sufficiently. Try to relax and not appear too stressed or nervous. Another tip for advanced speakers: Step out in front of the podium and walk around the room and get closer to the audience. This also exudes self-confidence and helps in attracting your audience's attention.
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Tip 6: Effective beginning/end
Good presentation skills can help you in captivating your audience straight away. In order to do that, you should start your presentation with a bang. Many studies show that if you can capture someone’s interest straight away, there’s a good chance they’ll listen to the rest of the presentation. Shock the audience, ask them to imagine something or think of a what-if situation, share a personal story, share a joke, u se a quote, or a video. You should also give an overview of the time and structure of your presentation. This outline should run through your presentation so that you can always assign the individual contents to an outline point. It is also helpful for your audience to have the outline displayed in a slimmed-down form during the whole presentation.
How you end the presentation is as important as how you start it. A weak ending will leave the audience uninspired. But a good ending will motivate them and help them walk away on a positive note. For example, include a call to action, end the presentation with a memorable quote, or a personal story, and don't forget to thank and acknowledge the audience.
Tip 7: Speak freely
The headline speaks for itself. To make the presentation as lively and enjoyable as possible, you should avoid reading it off. Speak freely, slowly, and clearly. If you are not yet confident in what you are presenting, try using note cards. But keep in mind: No continuous text, but only short, concise bullet points! If you use note cards to support you, it is especially advisable at this point to memorize at least the beginning and end of your presentation, as eye contact is crucial at these points.
Tip 8: Avoid filler words
In order to make your presentation flow as smoothly and confidently as possible, you should avoid using filler words such as "um," "so," and so on. For your listeners, these words convey insecurity and inadequate preparation.
Tip 9: Bring along something to share
In addition to a handout, other small takeaways can also significantly improve your presentation. For example, if you are giving a presentation on gummy bears, why not offer some to your audience? If you are giving a presentation about your fishing hobby, why not show the audience your fishing equipment?
Tip 10: Use different types of media
A presentation can quickly become boring and monotonous. To avoid this, it is advisable to use different types of media. For example, combine videos and flipcharts, use the whiteboard, or show something practical on a model. This will increase the attention of your audience enormously and will help in keeping them engaged until the end.
Tip 11: Use effective pauses
When giving a presentation, you should keep in mind that you have already heard the content several times - your audience probably hasn't! Therefore, give your audience enough time to read and understand the content of your slides.
Effective use of speech pauses is a master technique. It is one of the most versatile tools in a presenter's toolbox. Yet very few people perform it well. A pause, if used correctly, can add a great deal to your presentation or speech. Pause before, during, or after saying something that you would like to emphasize. Pausing between two different parts of your presentation can indicate to the audience that something new is coming. A quick pause could also help you in remembering your next point, without the audience noticing that you forgot what to say.
Tip 12: Speak the language of the audience
When creating your presentation, you should already think about your target audience. This will help you present successfully later on. It is especially important that you speak the language of the audience. Use appropriate and relevant examples. Use "strong" and meaningful words in short sentences to avoid losing the audience. Make sure to use appropriate analogies and anecdotes and avoid foreign words, empty phrases, and clichés. If you have to use foreign words, explain them in a handout or footnote within the presentation.
Tip 13: Engage with the audience
Always try to keep the attention of your audience and keep them engaged during a presentation. To do this, it is advisable to regularly involve the audience. One way to do this is to ask questions. Deliberately ask "easy" questions so that can easily be answered by your audience. Another way to involve the audience in your presentation is by interacting with them. To make a point clearer, you can use an example to explain it in more detail, using a person (whose name you should know). You can address participants directly and refer to their work.
Tip 14: Don't fight the stage fright & take deep breaths
Stage fright is one of the biggest enemies of a presentation, yet you shouldn't let yourself be a victim of your feat. Do not fight it, rather address your fear and try and accept it, and transform it into positive enthusiasm. Don't let your stage fright get you all worked up and nervous. Take a couple of deep breaths to get oxygen to your brain and relax your body.
Tip 15: Choose the right angle on standing during a presentation
One of the most frequent questions that speakers ask themselves during a presentation is, how do I best position myself, and where do I stand in front of the audience?
You have a free stage without a podium
In many cases, you will be facing your audience in a "free space", without a podium. This gives you a lot of room to move, but at the same time, it creates uncertainty because you don't know how to position yourself properly or how to move. Avoid standing frontally in front of the audience! This frontal facing is unconsciously perceived negatively by the audience. It is perceived by the audience as a kind of frontal attack and causes stress in your audience. Make sure to stand slightly to the side of the audience. If you notice during the presentation that you are again standing frontally in front of your audience, simply move your right or left foot 20 cm forward.
You have a podium at your disposal
A podium makes it easier to decide how to position yourself and where to stand in front of the audience. In order not to make your presentation too monotonous, it is advisable to leave the "safe position" behind the lectern from time to time, e.g. to walk to the other side of the screen or to show something on the flipchart. This brings movement into your presentation and helps keep the connection with your audience.
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What Are Effective Presentation Skills (and How to Improve Them)
Presentation skills are essential for your personal and professional life. Learn about effective presentations and how to boost your presenting techniques.
At least seven out of 10 Americans agree that presentation skills are essential for a successful career [ 1 ]. Although it might be tempting to think that these are skills reserved for people interested in public speaking roles, they're critical in a diverse range of jobs. For example, you might need to brief your supervisor on research results.
Presentation skills are also essential in other scenarios, including working with a team and explaining your thought process, walking clients through project ideas and timelines, and highlighting your strengths and achievements to your manager during performance reviews.
Whatever the scenario, you have very little time to capture your audience’s attention and get your point across when presenting information—about three seconds, according to research [ 2 ]. Effective presentation skills help you get your point across and connect with the people you’re communicating with, which is why nearly every employer requires them.
Understanding what presentation skills are is only half the battle. Honing your presenting techniques is essential for mastering presentations of all kinds and in all settings.
What are presentation skills?
Presentation skills are the abilities and qualities necessary for creating and delivering a compelling presentation that effectively communicates information and ideas. They encompass what you say, how you structure it, and the materials you include to support what you say, such as slides, videos, or images.
You'll make presentations at various times in your life. Examples include:
Making speeches at a wedding, conference, or another event
Making a toast at a dinner or event
Explaining projects to a team
Delivering results and findings to management teams
Teaching people specific methods or information
Proposing a vote at community group meetings
Pitching a new idea or business to potential partners or investors
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Why are presentation skills important?
Delivering effective presentations is critical in your professional and personal life. You’ll need to hone your presentation skills in various areas, such as when giving a speech, convincing your partner to make a substantial purchase, and talking to friends and family about an important situation.
No matter if you’re using them in a personal or professional setting, these are the skills that make it easier and more effective to convey your ideas, convince or persuade others, and experience success. A few of the benefits that often accompany improving your presentation skills include:
Enriched written and verbal communication skills
Enhanced confidence and self-image
Boosted critical thinking and problem-solving capabilities
Better motivational techniques
Increased leadership skills
Expanded time management, negotiation, and creativity
The better your presenting techniques, the more engaging your presentations will be. You could also have greater opportunities to make positive impacts in business and other areas of your life.
Effective presentation skills
Imagine yourself in the audience at a TED Talk or sitting with your coworkers at a big meeting held by your employer. What would you be looking for in how they deliver their message? What would make you feel engaged?
These are a few questions to ask yourself as you review this list of some of the most effective presentation skills.
How you use language and deliver messages play essential roles in how your audience will receive your presentation. Speak clearly and confidently, projecting your voice enough to ensure everyone can hear. Think before you speak, pausing when necessary and tailoring the way you talk to resonate with your particular audience.
Body language combines various critical elements, including posture, gestures, eye contact, expressions, and position in front of the audience. Body language is one of the elements that can instantly transform a presentation that would otherwise be dull into one that's dynamic and interesting.
The ability to project your voice improves your presentation by allowing your audience to hear what you're saying. It also increases your confidence to help settle any lingering nerves while also making your message more engaging. To project your voice, stand comfortably with your shoulders back. Take deep breaths to power your speaking voice and ensure you enunciate every syllable you speak.
How you present yourself plays a role in your body language and ability to project your voice. It also sets the tone for the presentation. Avoid slouching or looking overly tense. Instead, remain open, upright, and adaptable while taking the formality of the occasion into account.
Incorporating storytelling into a presentation is an effective strategy used by many powerful public speakers. It has the power to bring your subject to life and pique the audience’s curiosity. Don’t be afraid to tell a personal story, slowly building up suspense or adding a dramatic moment. And, of course, be sure to end with a positive takeaway to drive your point home.
Active listening is a valuable skill all on its own. When you understand and thoughtfully respond to what you hear—whether it's in a conversation or during a presentation—you’ll likely deepen your personal relationships and actively engage audiences during a presentation. As part of your presentation skill set, it helps catch and maintain the audience’s attention, helping them remain focused while minimizing passive response, ensuring the message is delivered correctly, and encouraging a call to action.
During a presentation, projecting confidence can help keep your audience engaged. Stage presence can help you connect with your audience and encourage them to want to watch you. To improve your presence, try amping up your normal demeanor by infusing it with a bit of enthusiasm. Project confidence and keep your information interesting.
Watch your audience as you’re presenting. If you’re holding their attention, it likely means you’re connecting well with them.
Monitoring your own emotions and reactions will allow you to react well in various situations. It helps you remain personable throughout your presentation and handle feedback well. Self-awareness can help soothe nervousness during presentations, allowing you to perform more effectively.
Writing is a form of presentation. Sharp writing skills can help you master your presentation’s outline to ensure you stay on message and remain clear about your objectives from the beginning until the end. It’s also helpful to have strong writing abilities for creating compelling slides and other visual aids.
Understanding an audience
When you understand your audience's needs and interests, you can design your presentation around them. In turn, you'll deliver maximum value to them and enhance your ability to make your message easy to understand.
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How to improve presentation skills
There’s an art to public speaking. Just like any other type of art, this is one that requires practice. Improving your presentation skills will help reduce miscommunications, enhance your time management capabilities, and boost your leadership skills. Here are some ways you can improve these skills:
Work on self-confidence.
When you’re confident, you naturally speak more clearly and with more authority. Taking the time to prepare your presentation with a strong opening and compelling visual aids can help you feel more confident. Other ways to improve your self-confidence include practicing positive self-talk, surrounding yourself with positive people, and avoiding comparing yourself (or your presentation) to others.
Develop strategies for overcoming fear.
Many people are nervous or fearful before giving a presentation. A bad memory of a past performance or insufficient self-confidence can contribute to fear and anxiety. Having a few go-to strategies like deep breathing, practicing your presentation, and grounding can help you transform that fear into extra energy to put into your stage presence.
Learn grounding techniques.
Grounding is any type of technique that helps you steer your focus away from distressing thoughts and keeps you connected with your present self. To ground yourself, stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and imagine you’re a large, mature tree with roots extending deep into the earth—like the tree, you can become unshakable.
Learn how to use presentation tools.
Visual aids and other technical support can transform an otherwise good presentation into a wow-worthy one. A few popular presentation tools include:
Canva: Provides easy-to-design templates you can customize
Powtoon: Animation software that makes video creation fast and easy
PowerPoint: Microsoft's iconic program popular for dynamic marketing and sales presentations
Practice breathing techniques.
Breathing techniques can help quell anxiety, making it easier to shake off pre-presentation jitters and nerves. It also helps relax your muscles and get more oxygen to your brain. For some pre-presentation calmness, you can take deep breaths, slowly inhaling through your nose and exhaling through your mouth.
While presenting, breathe in through your mouth with the back of your tongue relaxed so your audience doesn't hear a gasping sound. Speak on your exhalation, maintaining a smooth voice.
The more you practice, the better you’ll become. The more you doanything, the more comfortable you’ll feel engaging in that activity. Presentations are no different. Repeatedly practicing your own presentation also offers the opportunity to get feedback from other people and tweak your style and content as needed.
Tips to help you ace your presentation
Your presentation isn’t about you; it’s about the material you’re presenting. Sometimes, reminding yourself of this ahead of taking center stage can help take you out of your head, allowing you to connect effectively with your audience. The following are some of the many actions you can take on the day of your presentation.
Since you may have a bit of presentation-related anxiety, it’s important to avoid adding travel stress. Give yourself an abundance of time to arrive at your destination, and take into account heavy traffic and other unforeseen events. By arriving early, you also give yourself time to meet with any on-site technicians, test your equipment, and connect with people ahead of the presentation.
Become familiar with the layout of the room.
Arriving early also gives you time to assess the room and figure out where you want to stand. Experiment with the acoustics to determine how loudly you need to project your voice, and test your equipment to make sure everything connects and appears properly with the available setup. This is an excellent opportunity to work out any last-minute concerns and move around to familiarize yourself with the setting for improved stage presence.
Listen to presenters ahead of you.
When you watch others present, you'll get a feel for the room's acoustics and lighting. You can also listen for any data that’s relevant to your presentation and revisit it during your presentation—this can make the presentation more interactive and engaging.
Use note cards.
Writing yourself a script could provide you with more comfort. To prevent sounding too robotic or disengaged, only include talking points in your note cards in case you get off track. Using note cards can help keep your presentation organized while sounding more authentic to your audience.
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Forbes. “ New Survey: 70% Say Presentation Skills are Critical for Career Success , https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2014/09/25/new-survey-70-percent-say-presentation-skills-critical-for-career-success/?sh=619f3ff78890.” Accessed December 7, 2022.
Beautiful.ai. “ 15 Presentation and Public Speaking Stats You Need to Know , https://www.beautiful.ai/blog/15-presentation-and-public-speaking-stats-you-need-to-know. Accessed December 7, 2022.
This content has been made available for informational purposes only. Learners are advised to conduct additional research to ensure that courses and other credentials pursued meet their personal, professional, and financial goals.
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5 Essential Presentation Skills to Develop
Presentations are a part of most jobs in the business world; you must be able to give a solid, informative presentation. Though they may seem simple, there are many aspects of a presentation and skills that you need to deliver a successful one. The experts at Shapiro Negotiations understand the importance and impact of a great presentation , and know how best to teach professionals the skills they need to give one.
1. Enthusiasm and Honesty
One of the most painful things in a presentation is listening to a presenter who is clearly bored and uninterested in the topic. For a presentation to be effective, you need to get the audience excited. It is almost impossible to excite your audience if you are dull or monotonous. Show enthusiasm about the topic and people are more likely to be engaged.
Along with being enthusiastic, you need to be honest. Even a distracted audience can tell when a presenter is lying or exaggerating. If they sense you are not being honest with them, both you and your presentation will lose credibility. A great presenter is honest and transparent with the audience, while simultaneously showing enthusiasm about everything.
2. Focused on the Audience
Effective presenters build and deliver presentations centered around the audience, not themselves. Focus on what the audience can get out of your presentation.
The key to any great presentation is engaging and appealing to your audience. Each audience is different, so it is important to keep in mind the people you are talking to and what interests them. You are more likely to gain their attention if the topic is relevant and helpful for them.
3. Ability to Keep Things Simple
Great presenters know how to make complex topics simple. Often, you will give a presentation to a group of people who do not have any previous knowledge about the topic. If you use complex language or concepts, you will confuse your audience and they will not listen as attentively.
A presentation is essentially a teaching tool. You are teaching your audience about the topic. Any great teacher knows that you need to simplify things to ensure everyone can learn and understand what you are trying to say. Effective presenters can do this for their audience.
Being personable is a great quality for every aspect of business, including presentations. People will listen more intently if they like you and see you as relatable. Some good ways to be personable are by making eye contact with your audience and smiling. These simple actions build rapport and increase the chances of the audience feeling like they can connect with you.
5. Great Body Language
Your body language says more than you think. More than three-quarters of communication is non-verbal. Though your speaking holds the meaning, body language could determine whether an audience listens to you and how they interpret your speech.
Great presenters stand up straight and confidently. They do not cross their arms in front of their chest, as this comes off as cold and distant. They also avoid pacing or holding their hands behind their backs because it makes them seem nervous. Keep your body language open and welcoming, and your audience will see you as more credible and trustworthy.
At Shapiro Negotiations , we know what skills are most important for people trying to become excellent presenters. Our presentation skills training works to help many businesspeople become persuasive and effective presenters in the workplace.
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Important Presentation Skills for Workplace Success
Alison Doyle is one of the nation’s foremost career experts.
- What Are Presentation Skills?
Steps To Create a Presentation
Skills that help make an effective presentation, how to make your skills stand out.
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Whether you’re a high-level executive or an administrative assistant, developing your presentation skills is one key way to climb in an office-based job. Leaders make decisions based on information shared in presentation format, and hardly any business changes its mind without first seeing a persuasive presentation.
It is important for any office employee to know what steps go into creating an effective presentation and what presentation skills are most important to employers. Highlighting these skills will also help you stand out during your job search.
- Presentation skills are what you need to know to be able to give an engaging, effective presentation.
- The steps to creating a successful presentation are preparation, delivery, and follow-up.
- Employers want to know you have the necessary skills to research, analyze, and create a presentation, plus the communication skills needed to deliver it and field questions afterward.
- You can highlight your skills to employers through your resume, cover letter, and interview.
What Are Presentation Skills?
Presentation skills refer to all the qualities you need to create and deliver a clear and effective presentation. While what you say during a presentation matters, employers also value the ability to create supporting materials, such as slides.
Your prospective employer may want you to deliver briefings and reports to colleagues, conduct training sessions, present information to clients, or perform any number of other tasks that involve speaking before an audience.
Giving engaging and easy-to-understand talks is a major component of the strong oral communication skills that are a job requirement for many positions. Not all presentations take place in a formal meeting. Many presentation skills are relevant to one-on-one consults or sales calls.
Any presentation has three phases: preparation, delivery, and follow-up. All presentation skills fit into one of these three phases.
Preparation involves research and building the presentation. Consider the audience you'll be presenting to and what most interests them. This may mean crafting the entire text (or at least writing notes) and creating any slides and other supporting audio/visual materials.
You will also have to make sure that the appropriate venue is available, properly set up beforehand, and ensure the projector (if you'll need one) works and connects with your laptop.
You'll also want to practice your presentation as many times as you need to to feel comfortable delivering it with ease and confidence within the time allotted for the presentation.
Skills related to preparation include conducting research related to your presentation topic, devising charts and graphs depicting your research findings, and learning about your audience to better tailor your presentation to their needs. You'll also need to create digital slides, using statistics, examples, and stories to illustrate your points and effectively to persuade the audience.
Preparing handouts or digital references is an added courtesy that will help the audience pay attention because they won't be preoccupied with note-taking.
Your delivery is the part of the presentation that the audience sees. A good delivery depends on careful preparation and confident presentation and requires its own distinctive skill set .
Skills related to delivery include giving an attention-grabbing opening for a talk, providing a summary of what will be covered to introduce the presentation and provide context, and using body language and eye contact to convey energy and confidence.
Make sure you pause to emphasize key points, modulate your vocal tone for emphasis, and articulate your speech clearly and smoothly.
Don't be afraid of injecting humor or speaking with enthusiasm and animation—these techniques can help you in projecting confidence to your audience.
Summarize key points at the conclusion of the presentation, and be sure to have a plan for how you'll field any audience questions.
Presentation follow-up includes properly breaking down and storing any equipment, contacting any audience members with whom you agreed to communicate further, and soliciting, collecting, and analyzing feedback.
In some presentations, you may collect information from audience members—such as names and contact information or completed surveys—that you also must organize and store.
Skills related to follow-up include creating an evaluation form to solicit feedback from attendees, interpreting feedback from evaluations, and modifying the content and/or delivery for future presentations. Other follow-up skills include organizing a database of attendees for future presentations, interviewing key attendees to gain additional feedback, and emailing presentation slides to attendees.
To create and deliver the most effective presentation takes a variety of skills, which you can always work to improve.
You must be able to look honestly at your performance, assess the feedback you get, and figure out what you need to do to get better. That takes analytical thinking .
More importantly, you need to have a firm grasp of the information you are about to communicate to others. You need to analyze your audience and be prepared to think quickly if asked questions that force you to demonstrate that you are fully aware of the material and its implications.
The kind of analytical skills you need to be an effective presenter include problem sensitivity, problem-solving , reporting and surveying, optimization, and predictive modeling. It also helps to be adept at strategic planning, integration, process management, and diagnostics. With these skills, you'll be better able to objectively analyze, evaluate, and act on your findings.
You do not want to be the person who spends half of their presentation time trying to find a cable to connect their laptop to the projector. Many things can and do go wrong just before a presentation unless you are organized .
Presentation preparation also means keeping track of notes, information, and start/stop times. You will want to proofread and fine-tune all the materials you plan to use for the presentation to catch any mistakes. Make sure you time yourself when you rehearse so you know how long it will take to deliver the presentation.
A presentation that's finished in half the time allotted is as problematic as one that's too long-winded.
Some key organizational skills to work on include event planning, auditing, benchmarking, prioritization, and recordkeeping. Make sure your scheduling is on point and pay close attention to detail. Quick thinking is an important skill to have for when things inevitably go wrong.
When speaking to an audience, the way you present yourself can be just as important as how you present your information. You want to appear confident and engaging. You can do this through good posture, the use of hand gestures, and making eye contact with the audience.
Practice your nonverbal communication by filming yourself doing a practice presentation and observing your body language carefully. Your physical bearing and poise should convey a degree of comfort and confidence in front of an audience, while active listening , respect, and emotional intelligence will help you in facilitating group discussions.
Microsoft PowerPoint is the dominant software used to create visual aids for presentations. Learn to use it well, including the special features outside of basic templates that can really bring a presentation to life. Even if someone else is preparing your slideshow for you, it will help to know how to use the software in case of last-minute changes.
Other software that is good to learn includes Microsoft Office, Apple Keynote, Google Slides, and Adobe Presenter.
You need to appear comfortable and engaging when speaking before a live audience, even if you're not. This can take years of practice, and sometimes public speaking just isn't for certain people. An uncomfortable presenter is a challenge for everyone. Fortunately, public speaking skills can improve with practice . Some skills to work on include articulation, engagement, and memorization. You should be able to assess the needs of the audience and handle difficult questions. Controlling your performance anxiety will help you communicate more effectively.
Research is the first step in preparing most presentations and could range from a multi-year process to spending 20 minutes online, depending on context and subject matter. At the very least, you must be able to clearly frame research questions, identify appropriate information sources, and organize your results. Other useful skills include brainstorming, collaboration , comparative analysis, data interpretation, and deductive and inductive reasoning. Business intelligence is a skill that will help you evaluate what information you need to support the bottom line, while case analysis and causal relationships will help you parse and evaluate meaning.
Public speaking is one form of verbal communication , but you will need other forms to give a good presentation. Specifically, you must know how to answer questions. You should be able to understand questions asked by your audience (even if they're strange or poorly worded) and provide respectful, honest, and accurate answers without getting off-topic. Use active listening, focus, and empathy to understand your audience. Skills such as assertiveness, affirmation, and enunciation will help you restate and clarify your key points as it relates to their questions or concerns.
You may or may not need a written script, but you do need to pre-plan what you are going to say, in what order you will say it, and at what level of detail. If you can write a cohesive essay, you can plan a presentation.
Typical writing skills apply to your presentation just as they do to other forms of writing, including grammar, spelling, vocabulary, and proofreading. The ability to build outlines, take notes, and mark up documents will also be useful.
More Presentation Skills
In addition to the skills previously mentioned, there are other important skills that can apply to your presentation. The other skills you need will depend on what your presentation is about, your audience, and your intended results. Some of these additional skills include:
- Providing anecdotes to illustrate a point
- Designing handouts
- Recognizing and countering objections
- Posing probing questions to elicit more detail about specific issues
- Awareness of ethnic, political, and religious diversity
- Receiving criticism without defensiveness
- Refraining from speaking too often or interrupting others
- Anticipating the concerns of others
- Product knowledge
- SWOT analysis format
- Supporting statements with evidence
- Working with reviewers
- Developing and maintaining standard operating procedures (SOPs)
- Developing a proposition statement
- Creating and managing expectations
Include skills on your resume. If applicable, you might mention these words in your resume summary or headline .
Highlight skills in your cover letter. Mention one or two specific presentation skills and give examples of instances when you demonstrated these traits in the workplace.
Show your presentation skills in job interviews. During the interview process, you may be asked to give a sample presentation. In this case, you will want to embody these skills during the presentation. For example, you will want to demonstrate your oral communication skills by speaking clearly and concisely throughout the presentation.
PennState. " Steps in Preparing a Presentation ."
Harvard Division of Continuing Education. " 10 Tips for Improving Your Public Speaking Skills ."
Northern Illinois University. " Delivering the Presentation ."
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The Importance of Presentation Skills
Home » Blog » The Importance of Presentation Skills (and how to ace your presentation!)
The Importance of Presentation Skills (and how to ace your presentation!)
What are the importance of presentation skills? The short answer: having good presentation skills in life is really important! Knowing how to improve communication skills, whether you are in the classroom or the workplace, is something you will be thankful for when you have to share your ideas with an audience! Read on to find out how we can help.
Presentation Skills in every course
Here at Summer Boarding Courses, our academic summer school programme incorporates presentation skills into all of our courses! Have a fear of public speaking? Need to know how to make a presentation? With our public speaking tips and effective communication skills, you’ll be a pro in no time!
Our Time to Shine projects help you develop your English and prepare for future study. Welcoming our students into Time to Shine has been a big success and we can’t wait to hear your presentation too.
What is public speaking?
Public speaking is communicating information to an audience. Public speaking can happen in a classroom, in the workplace and public places. Public speaking does involve speaking aloud, but it is also about using your critical thinking, listening and non-verbal communications skills to get your message across too.
The importance of presentation skills
Effective communication skills are a valuable life skill, which will help you in your further education and in your future careers. Here are our top reasons why public speaking courses can do nothing but good to help you on your journey to success. Here’s the importance of presentation skills:
Your English speaking skills will excel
Presentations are a fantastic way to contribute to your English language learning experience. They enable you to practice all language areas (such as vocabulary, phonology and grammar) and skills (speaking, reading, writing and listening). But most of all, they build your confidence in public speaking. You can do it!
You will gain self confidence to have your say
Unsurprisingly, public speaking classes may make you feel nervous! Statistic Brain found a whopping 74% of people feel nervous speaking in front of others.
Speaking in front of a class, in a language which is not your first native level, can be difficult. Yet, do not fret; we are here to give you the practice and support you need. You can try our public speaking classes out in a safe and encouraging environment during our Time to Shine .
Learn how to present with us
Find out more about our Summer Schools!
You will learn to communicate better in all areas of life
Presentation skills are an impressive and powerful tool that will take you so much further than just speaking in the classroom. With our communication skills training, you’ll become a good presenter all round, structuring and expressing your ideas clearly.
Knowing how to make a good presentation will help you in job interviews, to make new friends, to sell a product and make business deals successfully.
Your body language, hand gestures and eye contact will improve too. This helps captivate your audience. Your ability to plan and prepare materials, to convince your audience of what you have to say, will excel too!
You will be less stressed
If you have effective presentation skills, this means you are good at communicating. By speaking clearly, and getting your ideas and message across to people well, there will be less miscommunication in your life. This means less stress and happier relationships!
Your time management will improve
With only a certain amount of time to give your presentation, you will learn how to communicate your message quickly, clearly and successfully in a limited amount of time. A good presentation is easy to understand, memorable and not so long that your audience loses interest.
How to prepare for a presentation
Give the audience what they want.
Good presentation skills involve asking yourself; ‘What do my audience want to know? What will they find interesting about my topic?’ Brainstorm ideas and write them down to create a really interesting presentation.
Focus on your key message
Keep your presentation simple by focusing on 3 important points you want to communicate. Keep your message focused and stick to what you want to say. If you have information which isn’t relevant to your message, do not include it!
Learn presentation skills with us
Find out how you can prepare for the future!
How to make a presentation fantastic
How can you keep your audience interested in your public speaking topics? To see how to make an effective presentation exciting and engaging, read on for our top tips for a good presentation.
How you start your presentation is critical! An audience is going to decide if they are going to listen to you by how you begin. To engage the audience immediately, tell an interesting story, show an intriguing picture or do something entertaining. By using one of these public speaking techniques, your audience will be hooked.
One way to master the art of public speaking is to create variety in your presentation. It will keep your audience interested! Use video. Use eye catching images. Involve your audience as much as possible! Ask them questions to keep them alert. Not talking all of the time, and using different ways to communicate your idea definitely helps.
Good public speakers make a presentation even better by speaking clearly. You want your audience to hear what you are saying, so make sure you speak at a good volume. If the student at the back of the room can hear you, then your volume is great!
We understand this can be difficult when you are nervous. Try to look forward to project your voice, make eye contact with the audience and following our techniques above if you’re feeling nervous!
Emphasise words you want your audience to hear. Add suspense and intrigue by speaking more softly. Use body language as well as your voice volume to increase excitement!
Practice makes perfect here. Joining us at Summer Boarding Courses will show you how to improve your interpersonal communication skills and decrease your public speaking anxiety. Find out more about practicing your presentation skills with us during our Time to Shine projects.
Try your best to be confident
If our calming techniques do not work, it is still possible that people cannot see just how nervous you actually are! Even if you do not feel confident, acting confident helps.
Speak at a good pace
Speaking at a pace where the audience can understand you is so important when you deliver a presentation. Keeping an optimal pace provides time for the listeners to understand the content, take notes, and ask questions.
A good presenter should learn not to speak too quickly, because they need to give time for the audience to understand what is being said. At the same time, the pace should not be so slow that the presenter runs out of time to complete the presentation (and the audience becomes bored!).
Have a Plan B
If your presentation is on a computer or hard drive, make sure you have a backup! Having your notes in paper format and some images which do not rely on technology will help you if worst comes to worst!
How can you improve your presentation skills?
With our tips and advice, we hope you are feeling more confident when it comes to how to give a good presentation. Presentation skills are really important and we encourage you to join us during the Summer to take your English to the next level!
If you’d like to improve your public speaking skills and learn more about how to do a presentation at Summer Boarding Courses, get in touch today and we’ll help find the right summer school course for you!
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Self-Assessment • 18 min read
How Good Are Your Presentation Skills?
Understanding your impact.
By the Mind Tools Content Team
How do you feel when you have to make a presentation? Are you well prepared and relaxed, confident that your performance will have the desired impact on your audience? new score
Or is the thought of standing on a podium, holding a microphone, enough to give you stage fright?
Enjoy it or not, presenting – in some form – is usually a part of business. Whether you get up in front of formal audiences on a regular basis, or you simply have to make your voice heard in a meeting, you're using presentation skills.
Many believe that good presenters are born, not made. This is simply not true . Sure, some people are more relaxed and comfortable speaking in front of others – but everyone can learn the skills and techniques they need to increase their level of confidence and performance when presenting.
From sales pitches to training lectures, good presentation and public speaking skills are key to many influential roles in today's business world. The good news about presenting is that you can improve with practice.
So do you have the skills you need to do a good job? And how effective are you when you have to "perform?" Take this short quiz to help you assess your skills.
For each statement, click the button in the column that best describes you. Please answer questions as you actually are (rather than how you think you should be), and don't worry if some questions seem to score in the "wrong direction." When you are finished, please click the "Calculate My Total" button at the bottom of the test.
Becoming a Better Presenter
Effective presentations are a mixture of a variety of elements. You have to know what your audience wants. You need to prepare good, interesting, engaging content. You must be confident in presenting the material, you have to know how to manage your environment successfully, and you need to make sure that your message has maximum impact.
Balancing all four elements is no easy task. And, when combined with the natural anxiety often felt before giving presentations, it's no wonder that many people struggle with this skill. In fact, fear of public speaking is extremely common.
However, you don't have to remain fearful and stressed by the thought of giving a presentation. With the right tools and material, along with planning and preparation, you can present with energy and confidence.
Let's now look in detail at those four key elements of effective presentations:
- Understanding your audience.
- Preparing your content.
- Delivering confidently.
- Controlling the environment.
For other tips on delivering confidently, see Delivering Great Presentations , Speaking to an Audience , Managing Presentation Nerves , and our Skillbook Even Better Presentations .
Presenting doesn't have to be scary, or something you seek to avoid. Find opportunities to practice the tips and techniques discussed above, and become more confident in your ability to present your ideas to an audience. We all have something important to say, and sometimes it takes more than a memo or report to communicate it. You owe it to yourself, and your organization, to develop the skills you need to present your ideas clearly, purposefully, engagingly, and confidently.
This assessment has not been validated and is intended for illustrative purposes only. It is just one of many that help you evaluate your abilities in a wide range of important career skills.
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