Do you need to ace that presentation next week? While being a skilled presenter takes time and practice, there are some techniques you can implement directly to bring your presentation to the next level.
1. It’s all about stories
It’s a no brainer that people connect with stories. If your presentation is long and about a topic that will probably make you yawn, consider explaining your points through stories and anecdotes. Remember, a speaker who connects with their audience emotionally is much more likely to be remembered long after the presentation is finished.
2. Project your voice
What’s worse than giving a boring presentation, is giving a presentation with an inaudible voice. Your audience may be able to read your slides, but if they can’t hear you clearly, they will lose interest in you. Always makes sure that you are heard throughout the room and always be confident about what you are talking about.
3. Don’t use filler words
We used to say, “Umm,” “Ah,” “You know,” “Well,” and so on during presentation. However, these words make your presentation sounds unprofessional. Instead, replace those words with a pause while taking a short breath in. When in doubt, stay silent. The audience don’t notice it as much as you do.
4. Don’t apologise
Resist the urge to apologise – whether in saying sorry for your nervousness or even a lack of preparation time. Don’t apologise for your anxiety either. The audience might not even notice that, and by apologising you are drawing their attention to it and in fact, you’ll become more nervous than before.
5. More importantly, don’t read from the slides
Powerpoint slides are there to help you remember your key points, not to act as a script. Reading from your own slides show that you are unprepared, and that you don’t really understand your own message. Furthermore, it’s boring – and the audience will lose interest on your presentation soon after, no matter how brilliant your message is.
Want to learn more about how to give a killer presentation? The Institute of Management offers a Presentation Skills course. Visit our website to find out more.