Tips to Elevate Your Presentation Skills

presentation skills

Giving a presentation is not an easy task. You need to be prepared and have your content down pat, but you also need to engage your audience and keep them interested. This is why many people dread public speaking, but the good news is that it is a skill that can be improved. If you are needing to give a presentation, but aren’t sure what you can do to improve, here are some tips to help you elevate your presentation skills.

Practice

One of the most important things to remember is to practice. You want to make sure that you know your material inside and out, so you can focus on engaging with your audience. It will be extremely difficult to come across as confident or persuasive if you can’t remember what you need to say.

Another important aspect of presentations is timing, and you want to make sure you get the timing down perfectly. Make sure you time yourself when practicing, so you know how long your presentation will be. This way you won’t need to speed through certain parts, and take extra long with others; a great presentation has a perfect, steady flow.

Slide Creation

Another key element is properly formatting your slides since the slides are most likely what most audiences will be focusing on, and are a key aspect of the presentation. Use a simple font like Arial or Calibri, and stick to a standard 14-point size; text that looks too big comes across as unprofessional.

What you should avoid doing is using too much text on each slide – instead opt for things like images, graphs, or charts by using flow chart creator tools to break up the information and make it more visually appealing. This is because the slides should almost be like key cards that illustrate the most important points you are making. And limit yourself to just six or seven bullet points per slide; you don’t want to spend too much time on a slide.

Eye Contact and Body Language

When presenting, maintain eye contact with your audience as much as possible. It can be difficult, especially if you’re nervous, but it’s important for keeping them engaged in what you’re saying. When you maintain eye contact with audience members, it makes them feel as if you are having a conversation with them.

If you find yourself losing focus, take a deep breath and refocus – don’t let anything throw you off track! Last but not least, always stay upbeat throughout your presentation. Nobody wants to listen to someone who seems uncomfortable or unhappy with what they’re doing. Be confident in yourself and your material, and it will show in your delivery.

Get There Early

One of the best tips for someone who always feels nervous before talking in public is to arrive at the venue early. Arriving early allows you to set everything up, and take care of any unforeseen problems that might arise, such as an HDMI cable not working for example.

Most importantly, if you arrive early, it will give you the opportunity to get acquainted with your surroundings, as well as allow you to greet everyone who walks through the door. Setting a positive tone before taking the proverbial podium will help to give you the confidence you need to do a great job.

Positive Thoughts and Deep Breaths

Another incredibly important thing to do, as mentioned above, would be to think positive thoughts as you are giving your presentation. Research has shown that when you have negative thoughts, your body will act accordingly. For example, if throughout the presentation you are thinking that the audience is waiting for you to make a mistake, you are going to overcorrect and overthink, which will lead to mistakes being made.

In addition to this, you should take deep breaths throughout the presentation if you are feeling nervous. Not only do our thoughts and emotions affect our physiological responses, but our physiological behaviors can affect our emotions. A prime example would be an episode of Joe Rogan, where Neil deGrasse Tyson continues to speak over and interrupt him. Joe Rogan’s response was to breathe deeply and sit in a relaxed manner, which helps his emotions to stay calm. This is because if he were to have breathed heavily and tensed up, his emotional response would be to get angry.

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