How To Become A Better Presenter

There is both an art and a science to giving good presentations
There is both an art and a science to giving good presentations
Image Credit: Board of European Students

When we are asked to give a presentation, one of the key questions that runs through our head is “what is the best way to go about doing this”. I wish that I could tell you that there was just one thing that you needed to make sure that you did in order to ensure that you could use the importance of public speaking to make sure that your audience would get the most out of what you tell them. Of course, this is not the case. Instead, it turns out that there are a number of different things that you need to get good at doing. The real challenge that you and I are facing is that we need to take the time to understand what we should be doing in order to make our presentations work well. What we need here is some guidance.

What Makes A Presentation Good?

So what makes a presentation a good presentation? We need to understand that it’s not how we view the presentation, but rather how our audience views the presentation. What this means is that there are three characteristics that can make a presentation one that your audience won’t soon forget. Each presentation that you give has to have three key characteristics: it has to be clear, it has to be concise, and it has to be compelling.

What this means for you is that you will need to make sure that when you deliver your presentation you use only words that can be easily understood by your audience. No pulling “word of the day” words off of your calendar and working them into your speech. The message that we want to give to our audience is designed to change the way that they see their world. What this means is that we need to make sure that when we are delivering that message, we do it in a way that is both specific and organized. In order to accomplish our goal of having an impact on our audience, we need to make sure that our presentation resonates with the audience and that it will have a positive impact on them and their lives. How we achieve these goals does not matter as much as simply making sure that we can accomplish all three of them.

What Can We Do To Become More Compelling?

Many of the presentations that we give call on us to be compelling. We are trying to change the way that our audience thinks about something and want to use our presentation to make this happen. Our goal in giving this type of presentation is to persuade our audience to change. In order to make this happen, we are going to have to find ways to win over not only their minds, but also their hearts.

To win over someone’s head, we need to use analytical things such as facts and stats. To win over someone’s heart we need to use emotions and stories in order to connect. All too often a presenter has a great story to tell, but can’t back their story up with facts and stats. Or alternatively, they have impressive facts and stats but no story with which to drive their point home. In order to become an effective presenter, you need to find ways to combine both of these techniques together.

How Can We Become More Aware Of How We Communicate?

So how good of a presenter are you? If you are like most of us, you think that you do ok. That’s all fine and good, but its the times that you run into trouble when you are making a presentation that reminds you that perhaps you are not as good of a presenter as you think that you are. What has to happen is that we have to see how our audience responds to our presentation. Seeing their reactions to our words and getting their feedback are what will finally open our eyes to the effectiveness of our presentations. We’ll come to understand that some of the things that we are doing work while at the same time some things don’t work.

One of the things that we can do in order to improve our presentation abilities is to take one of the many available speaker tests that are available. The purpose of these tests is to allow us to determine what our dominate communication style is. Likewise, these tests can let us know how our dominate communication style can change when we find ourselves under stress. Once you take one of these tests, you’ll have a better understanding of what your specific styles of communicating are. Using this knowledge, you’ll be able to make changes to how you deliver presentations and you’ll have the opportunity to become even more effective!

What All Of This Means For You

The goal of any presentation that we give is use the benefits of public speaking to communicate important information to our audience. If we are lucky, we just might be able to change their minds while we do this. All of this sounds like good things to be able to do, the challenge that we face as presenters is that we have to figure out a way to make it happen.

The good news is that it can be done. We just need to find out what the secret is. In order to deliver a good presentation, it needs to have three key characteristics: it has to be clear, it has to be concise, and it has to be compelling. The words that you use when you deliver your presentation need to be words that will be understood by your audience. In order to deliver a compelling presentation, we need to find ways to win over not only our audience’s minds, but also their hearts. We need to understand that it’s not enough to win just one of these, but we need to win both of them. In order to become a better presenter, we need to become more aware of how our audience views our presentations.

Giving a presentation is never an easy thing to do. There’s all of that preparation that you go through and then there’s the actual effort that it takes to deliver a presentation. As long as you are going to be making the effort, it sure seems as though you’d like to be able to make an impact on your audience. To make this happen you need to find ways to become a compelling presenter. Use the tips that we’ve covered the next time that you are presenting and discover just how powerful and effective you can be!

– Dr. Jim Anderson
Blue Elephant Consulting –
Your Source For Real World Public Speaking Skills™

Question For You: When you discover that you have a weakness in your presentation style, what steps can you take to become better?

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Note: What we talked about are advanced speaking skills. If you are just starting out I highly recommend joining Toastmasters in order to get the benefits of public speaking. Look for a Toastmasters club to join in your home town by visiting the web site Toastmasters is dedicated to helping their members to understand the importance of public speaking by developing listening skills and getting presentation tips. Toastmasters is how I got started speaking and it can help you also!

What We’ll Be Talking About Next Time

Isn’t it great when you have time to prepare to give a speech? At home you can sit down, think about what you want to say, lay it all out on paper and then make changes in order to ensure that your ideas flow smoothly from start to finish. This is all well and good; however, in real life we don’t always get the chance to prepare to give a speech. No matter if its in a business meeting, at an organizational get together, or when we’re hanging out with friends and family, there are times that everyone turns to look at you and you are expected to deliver a speech right then and there. What’s a speaker to do now?