How To Improve Your Presentation Skills

Tuesday, May 3, 2011, AM | Leave Comment

When you try to improve your career, there are more than one ways to do it. Along with accepting more responsibility, working smarter, and efficiently managing projects, a time may come in the continuing improvement of your career that you have to give presentation in front of an audience. Standing up and giving a talk in front of coworkers as well as strangers might seem easy when you see others making presentations. However, when you stand up, especially for the first time, it will not be so easy unless you have practiced it and are prepared for it.

I have heard stories about people going up on the stage and after saying a few words, they just collapse. Their legs give in. For the first time in your life, it may seem that your legs are not able to support your body. You need strong legs to help you stand up.

But as the experts point out it’s your mind that controls every move made by your body. So you need to have a strong mind. For that it might be a good idea to practice your presentation at home and in front of the mirror and watch and correct what you say and how you say it.

Prepare your presentation

Obviously, if you want to give a great presentation, you must prepare it. That is at this stage, you should have the content of your presentation completely written, possibly memorized. It should be interesting and words and sentences should be engaging.

If you are a little nervous – and many are – because you are new to presenting, it’s a good idea to write everything down. It will boost your confidence and settle your nerves on the day. The open and close of your presentation are the most important parts. So put in extra effort to make it memorable.

Prepare your body and soul

Different folks have different ways to follow for relaxation. You don’t need to practice yoga for your presentation. But some relaxation techniques will definitely help you.

  • Get a good night sleep beforehand, the night before you are giving presentation so you are all rested.

  • Eat a healthy breakfast. Some fruit and a bowl of high protein and high fiber cereal will be great. Stay away from sugary cereal.

  • Free your schedule before presentation.

  • Spend some time going over your presentation before you go up to deliver.

  • Concentrate on your breathing for a couple of minutes. This will focus your thoughts, relax you and will get rid of any nervousness.

  • If you forget something or make a mistake, keep going and try and relax. It will soon be forgotten.

  • Body Language

  • Make eye contact with people at all times. Never stare at the ceiling or back of the room as you present. Don’t keep reading out off of your written paper.
  • You may be nervous inside but try not to show it. Appear confident. Stand tall and proud. Smile and let your personality shine. Don’t be overly formal.

  • Make light jokes when appropriate.

  • Relaxed body language conveys honesty and openness. So walk around a little but don’t go too far from the podium.

  • Tone of your voice should be pleasant with varying degree of occasional emphasis.

  • Speak slowly and carefully but passionately.

Prepare for interaction

Encourage interaction with others during your presentation. By having others talk for a few seconds, it takes the focus off you temporarily. It lets you clear your head and focus on the key points ahead. If slides are a part of your presentation, pause frequently while folks are reading a slide or considering key points you have just mentioned.

In a Nutshell
Public speaking is one of the hardest things to master. That’s why you must prepare carefully. Take it slowly on the day and show enthusiasm about the topic. You will deliver a powerful presentation to your colleagues and strangers as well.

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