A crucial part of any leader’s personality is formed by their presentation skills. Try to recollect some of the seminars, debates, or lectures you may have attended in the past and you will be able to segregate the speakers based on their presentation skills quite easily.
Now think of a time when you had to present in front of an audience; did you deliver the message through?
Were you able to grasp their attention? Did you make the session engaging?
While thinking of these instances you will realize that presentations often turn out to be pressurized situations depending on how afraid you are of the crowd. The situation worsens when you are unable to get the desired response from your audience, that is why most of the corporate sector provides training to employees to enhance their skills and deliver the best.
If these are some of the problems faced by you, do not worry.
How to captivate your viewers and hone your presentation skills?
1. No shortcut to preparation
As the saying goes “Valor without knowledge is a defeat”, similarly, giving presentations without thorough research is foolish. Usually, your audience will include professors of the subject, industry leaders, critics, and of course good old colleagues.
Hence, most of them will be able to make out whether you are prepared with the topic or not. People lose confidence in the speaker if they think he/she is underprepared and has low presentation skills. So to be on the safe side, let’s not risk it.
2. No one likes it boring
What do we usually dislike? Isn’t it Speaker?
Speaker is someone who cannot make his/her presentations interesting. Listeners have a short span of attention, well we are to blame for that given all the social media accounts on our phones.
Hence, you have but a little window of opportunity to grab their attention. Using stories is always helpful. Humans love stories. We love a beginning, a middle, and – man – we live for a good ending.
Making your story relatable for the audience is one of the key presentation skills to be acquired.
3. Focus on visuals
65% of human beings learn better using visuals. Visual images stay in the mind for a longer period. Hence you can use visual aids (such as Powerpoint, Adobe, pictures, etc) to put your point across more efficiently. When using slides, make sure of the following
- Only relevant information goes on screen.
- Minimal usage of text
- Use pictures that help understand the topic better
- Use slides only as reference material, do not rely on them completely
With visuals, your audience will be able to recall the topic even at a later date. Your audience will remember you for showing good presentation skills. Having knowledge of Graphics Designing will help a lot here.
4. Practice makes a man perfect
To boost confidence in your presentation skills construct a script of how you would like the presentation to unfold. Once you have your script ready, practice in fronts of a familiar crowd like friends or family.
If you don’t have a crowd, then practice in front of a mirror (might seem weird, but trust me, it’s helpful).
The name of the game is “Don’t let the crowd intimidate you”, so practicing more and more will make you confident of your content and will also save you from forgetting stuff on stage and looking like a dummy.
5. Don’t jump to conclusions
When delivering a presentation on a specific topic you may have a singular idea but try not to have a singular viewpoint.
Instead of declaring what you think is right, introduce a point, and accept or reject it based on valid data points. This way the audience will be able to better relate to your theory.
For example, do not declare straight away that driving under influence leads to accidents, rather mention how drinking impairs vision and motor skills and let the audience arrive at the conclusion with you. Apart from this, you should know how to handle negative feedback from the audience, so that they should not feel demotivated.
Keep the above points in your head the next time you have to present. Do not let the stage get the best of you and do not lose confidence since that is key. For all your presentations, May the Force be with you.
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