Have you ever thought-‘I feel nervous and I’m not feeling confident about my presentation skills, and I hope people understand what I’m going to say to them?” It doesn’t even have to be presenting to a whole room full of people, it may also be when you need to present an idea or request to your boss, or need to feel confident in an office meeting.
Either way I have put together 9 great tips to help you with your presentation skills including some pronunciation tips as well.
Presentation Skills- 9 Great Tips
Presentation skills no.1 – Beware of being drawn to the earnest one in the ‘audience.’
There is usually one or even a couple more people in your audience who are ‘easy’ to present to. They’re the people who look at you all the time and nod in agreement or smile a lot. As a presenter we can easily just ‘speak’ to them and look at them a lot. If you mainly keep looking and speaking to them, then it stops you from connecting with others and stops you from drawing others along with you on your ideas as you present them. So make sure you aren’t just continually being drawn back to look at and speak to only one or two very positive audience members.
Presentation skills no. 2 – Eye Contact
Make sure you regularly make eye contact with each person you are presenting to at some time during the presentation. Of course if you are presenting to a huge auditorium of people, you can’t do this with everyone, but you can look in the different directions people are sitting.
Presentation skills no. 3 – Never read word for word
Know your stuff. Never just click from power point slide to power point slide and only just read what’s there. Know your stuff and add comments or extra information while the slide is up there, and definitely face the audience most of the time.
Presentation skills no.4 – Maximum only 4 or 5 bullet points on each slide
If you have too many points up on the slide, the audience will be too busy trying to read it all and won’t listen to your ‘wisdom’ and extra information.
Presentation skills no. 5 – Don’t overdo the gimmicks on screen
Don’t overdo the power point gimmicks on your slides such as too many words or pictures flashing across the screen, or things popping up all over the place. A little bit keeps it interesting, but too much distracts your audience from your main message.
Presentation skills no. 6 – Don’t be wooden
Don’t stand in one place for the whole presentation not moving at all. Move around a bit on the stage to keep the energy up and people interested, or move your hands and arms a little for the same purpose.
Presentation skills no. 7 – Stay slow
When we’re nervous we tend to speak more quickly, so breath and remember it’s OK to speak more slowly to be clear. Also check out the interesting way you can use the ‘superman pose’ before you start your presentation to help you calm and feel confident.
Presentation skills no. 8 – Stress main meaning words
Don’t just say each word with the same stress. You need to stress or emphasise the words that you want the audience to pay attention to. The words that are important to get your point across. For example have a look at this sentence in which I have put the words that need to be stressed or emphasised in bold type:
For years we’ve approached the technical problems in this sector with a wait and see attitude, but because it doesn’t work anymore in this global era, we need to be more strategic.
Presentation skills no. 9 – Mic -up
If you are presenting to more than 10-20 people you need to use a microphone to protect your voice, and so your audience can hear you without straining so they keep engaged in what you are saying.
Of course if you are having trouble speaking clearly or being understood in English, it is naturally difficult to feel confident when presenting. So my 10th point is to also get some help to speak clearly in English so that everyone who hears you speak can benefit from your experience and knowledge which is exactly why we developed our speak more clearly accent reduction courses.
Enjoy presenting. Best wishes, Esther