It is not rare that your boss at work asks you to give presentations or asks you to attend a conference. Most employees really do not look forward to such events, because let’s be real… speaking in front of large groups is no fun, especially when you do not know them!
Public speaking is some people’s forte but most find it nerve-wracking and below we have great ideas, which will make it a more enjoyable experience for you. To deliver an empowering presentation you need to prepare well for it. Public speaking is a responsible task as you are not simply sharing knowledge, you are establishing yourself as an expert in the given topic and people will trust you with the information you have to share.
From small presentations in front of your colleagues to public speaking in front of hundreds of people, we have got you covered. We will help you deliver a powerful presentation, which is not only engaging but inspiring!
Read along with our great tips for you to write, plan, and deliver your presentation clearly and in a thoughtful way and you’ll learn how to improve your presentation skills in general.
How to improve presentation skills?
The ultimate key to delivering a successful presentation is planning ahead and knowing exactly what you have to speak about in front of your audience. Make the most of your time by starting early to figure out the scope of your topic when creating your presentation.
A good presentation requires careful planning.
In general, you will need to follow these steps to plan a successful presentation:
- Brainstorm and outline: What’s your topic? What do you know about the topic? What do you want your audience to know?
- Research: Use research to support your argument, find examples and statistics, or to learn more about your topic.
- Write an outline.
- Write a draft.
- Plan any visual aids such as PowerPoint or any activities you want your audience to participate in
- Practice, practice, practice! Make sure your presentation is not too long, and edit it down as needed.
Mind maps are great in order to explore the subtopics of your article’s main idea. This will allow you to rekindle the knowledge you have by creating a mind map or diagram, which will show all the different ideas related to your main topic.
It is always great to refresh your understanding and it will bring you the confidence to deliver a presentation successfully. Mind maps also give you ideas for new points or ones that you have forgotten and allow you to include them in your presentation effortlessly.
Connecting to the Audience
You want to connect your subject and content to the audience and the needs they have.
Your presentation will have a lot more impact and be useful with valuable information if you connect to your audience and their needs with the topic you have created. In order to define their interests focus on the important details- the industry they come from, their profession, occupations they have, etc.
This process will allow you to frame your subject in a way, which is relevant and efficient. Always have a purpose when creating a presentation and focus on your audience.
Defining your audience will help you create a presentation best suited to their needs. Understand how your topic is relevant and how it will benefit their needs. Know what they expect to learn and take away from their time with you.
Don’t assume the audience thinks like you. Demographic biases can often separate our ways of thinking. The more you know them, the more effective you can make the presentation.
Consider the audience’s level of expertise so you don’t lose their attention by speaking over their heads or insult them by presenting basic knowledge. Executives may be more eager to learn about how your topic will impact their business growth, projection, and prioritization. Mid-level managers will be more interested in learning the hands-on requirements, experience, and implementation needs for your ideas.
Avoid Excessive Content
Having too many ideas will overwhelm your audience when doing public speaking. Your goal is to educate your audience, not bore them with unnecessary facts.
Maybe if you have too much information to cover, it is a good idea to consider narrowing down the scope of your topic. A way to determine that is by focusing on the time you have been allotted to present your topic and the complexity of your subject.
Presentations with Similar Content
It is really efficient to watch other presentations and observe professionals who do public speaking. Focus on their body language and flow of ideas and use those tactics in your presentation.
Attend conferences, watch videos online of good presentations on YouTube or Netflix- there are plenty of options. TED Talks channel on YouTube is one of the best outlets and is free to watch inspiring presentations. Preparing in such a way will help you identify the vital information you need to cover for your public speaking event.
Write Your Presentation
When writing content, which has to be spoken is very different from written content, which simply has to be read. The language flow has to be perfected without cutting down on the substance and value of information.
Content is critical in making your presentation a meaningful use of time. Content must be correct, factual, and well-organized. Ideally, you would have the opportunity to understand your content before giving a presentation.
However, sometimes we must present on topics outside of our comfort zones. In this case, take the time to research everything you can about what you will discuss. Arm yourself with data that supports your message and helps provide answers to the most likely questions.
For any project you have, not only public speaking events, it is always great to jot down your main ideas on a piece of paper before you start. By having an outline ahead of starting your actual presentation, this allows you to work more effortlessly when it comes to changing or switching around ideas.
When including a personal anecdote to connect to your audience, you expose yourself to your audience and connect with them on a better level. Talking about your flows and struggles, makes you inspiring to others, and makes them resonate in your personal life. Accept it as a missed opportunity not to share anecdotes from your life with your audience.
Everyone loves a good joke and laughing at public speaking events. It is not only entertaining but also a joke that reminds people that we are all humans. Relating to your audience is key and makes it a memorable experience for all. I still remember actually, conferences and speaking events from my high school years because the speaker made it a fun and enjoyable experience.
Practice as You Write
A great tip when writing your presentation is to say lines out loud as you are creating your content. An effective speech does not always follow the clear-cut grammar and usage rules of written language. By reading it aloud when writing allows you to maintain a conversational and engaging tone.
Repeating Core Ideas
It is important to build in repetition as you write your presentation content- repeat your core ideas throughout the talk, so that the audience can follow along with your main idea without forgetting what your thesis statement is half way through. Frequently mentioning your key ideas of your presentation boosts your audience’s memory of these concepts.
Everyone wants to hear a good presentation, which has useful content, so always point out these valuable lessons to your audience. To aid your takeaways in your presentation, emphasize them with visual aids. Always prepare ahead so you can formulate your concept and be able to express your ideas in a concise and expert way, which will not be confusing for your audience.
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