You more likely than not have found yourself giving a presentation at some point in your life. Whether it was a show-and-tell presentation at school, a project presentation at university, a job interview or a presentation for your work. If you’re anything like me, you stand up with your heart racing, hands sweating and you forget everything you had prepared to talk about and you wing it.
Giving a presentation in any of these circumstances can be extremely daunting. Therefore, there lies a need to improve
on your presentation skills, whether that is in preparation for a job interview, giving a presentation to your team, delivering a sales proposal or even developing your leadership capabilities by working on delivering clear and concise instructions.
There are ways in which you can help yourself to improve your presentations skills in order to say what you need to say and say it well.
“Before anything else, preparation is the key to success" - Alexander Graham Bell
Firstly, practice as many times as you can. By knowing your topic and what you want to communicate inside and out, you will have a comprehensive understanding of the message you want to get across. Aim to practice your presentation a few times a day in order to make the information sink in.
"In presentations or speeches, less is really more" - Stephan Keague"
Having concise notes in front of you creates an outstanding foundation that you can speak from in your presentation. Jotting down the key points of each element of your presentation will help keep you on track as well as ensure your key derivatives are being conveyed to those you are presenting to. Having practiced your presentation, you may also have the flexibility to slightly steer off your notes if you feel that it may help.
“The most precious things in speech are the... pauses.” - Sir Ralph Richardson
Before starting your presentation, make sure you take a deep, calming breath to steady yourself and your thoughts. Try and find pockets within your presentation in which you can add a pause in order to maintain your poise and composure and make sure you are on the right track.
If you are interested in finding out more about presentation skills, click here to read all about tools to make your next presentation land the way you want it to.