We all should be looking at improving aspects of our personality, especially those that benefit our career by boosting performance and as we gain hands-on experience, we gradually develop essential business skills that will empower us in the future. If you recall the very first time you had to present something to a group of people, that would likely have been at school and we all know that uncomfortable feeling that comes with standing up and communicating with your audience.
Whether you are new to presentations or an old hand, here are a few tips to help you improve your presentation skills.
- Press the Passion Button – Whether you are introducing your organisation, www.tecdisnetwork.com as the UK’s leading white glove logistics company, or presenting the annual goals to your sales team, you need to be enthusiastic. People are affected by the emotions of others and when you have a fire in your heart about what you are showing, this will be picked up by your audience.
- Set Goals – Decide what your objectives are regarding the presentation, which might be to share information, or inform of some important product news. Define your objectives and plan on how you will achieve them.
- Take Control – As the presenter, you should have complete control over every aspect and to ensure you are not interrupted, politely state that you will be happy to answer questions at the end of your presentation. It is important to do this, as a simple question in the middle of a topic can derail the entire presentation and you want to avoid that at all costs. Don’t be afraid to ask your audience to switch their smartphones to silent, as this is standard when giving a presentation. Click here for tips on public speaking.
- Be Confident in your Appearance – This is critical; if you don’t think you look good, this will affect your performance; pay attention to what you wear and if you look good, you will also feel good. Have your haircut the day before, wear a little expensive cologne and pay attention to details, as appearance really does matter.
- Inject a Little Humour – The best possible ice-breaker you can have is to make the audience chuckle at the very outset; if the situation allows, look at your audience and say. “Oh dear, I didn’t realise it was informal dress!” One would not use this if giving a presentation to a potential customer, but you would raise a titter from colleagues; just be sensible with the funnies, as they could easily backfire!
- Learn How and When to Pause – A slight pause can be very powerful, if it is in the right place. When, for example, you want to add some impact to a statement, or if you want your audience to consider something for a short period. One great idea is to have a friend video your next presentation and you can watch it with a critical view, looking for things to improve on.
There are many great resources available online to help you hone your public speaking and presentation skills and a Google search will help you to locate the right material.