Shama is terrified of public speaking. She always avoids tasks that involve standing in front of a crowd. Even if it’s her coworkers, something about having all eyes on her makes her nervous.
Some of you may find this familiar and relatable. The nerves before a presentation, for instance, can leave you feeling breathless, paralyzed and afraid. Many people have stage fright.
There are times when you simply can’t get out of public speaking, especially if it’s a presentation at work. For such occasions, it’s critical to build effective presentation skills to help ease the process.
Let’s discuss techniques of effective presentation and how they can help you overcome your stage fear.
What Are Effective Presentation Skills?
Public speaking is an art and a skill that can be mastered over time, with practice and experience. It’s a daunting prospect surely, but once you get the hang of it, it’s going to give you new opportunities to prove yourself. In the professional world, public speaking is unavoidable. You’ll have to speak in meetings, give presentations or participate in work events that require speeches.
Here are some effective presentation skills you can develop to become a good speaker:
Understand The Art Of Storytelling
Storytelling is a valuable skill for public speaking. Even if you’re giving official presentations, knowing how to weave a story with elements that keep the listener engaged will go a long way. What you want to do is make sure everyone’s listening. An attentive audience means you’re doing a good job. Storytelling helps you keep them hanging onto your words. Not only can you share relevant data, statistics and information but also make it creative and exciting for them.
Prepare In Advance
Many people do last-minute prep for their presentations. Just compiling data and adding color to your slides won’t do the trick. You have to prepare your slides, what you’re going to say and how you plan to convey your content. Think of possible questions from the audience and try to come up with answers to avoid having to do so on the spot. This way you can sidestep any possible roadblocks.
Talk Clearly And Compellingly
Now that you’ve prepared your content, good presentation skills call for compelling and clear speech. When you’re speaking to an audience, make sure they’re able to understand every word you’re saying. Your speech should be simple, interesting and direct. Instead of getting lost in big words and complex sentences, focus on simple phrases and data. Visual storytelling with data is another key element you can incorporate in your presentation.
Read Your Audience
Picking up nonverbal cues from the audience will help you tailor your presentation on the spot. If you see your audience getting bored, for instance, share an anecdote if appropriate, or move to the next slide. You have to be present for the duration of the presentation. You can’t rely on your slides and script alone. Read the room, make eye contact and pay attention to your body language. Be open and welcome comments and questions that might turn into a conversation.
Identify Your Message
If you’re making a presentation, you should be well-versed with what you’re trying to convey. It’s one thing to put everything together, but when it comes to delivering your message, you must be able to do so in a few words. The key takeaways should be easy to recognize and share.
Developing good presentation skills for an effective presentation will help you gain the confidence you need to handle a crowd. You can even use the PAM framework that defines the purpose, audience and message to break down what you need to prepare.
The 4 P’s Of Presentation Skills
Techniques of effective presentation delivery include what is known as the four Ps of effective presentation skills.
Purpose defines why you’re delivering the presentation. This may be to sign a new client, update your team on quarterly targets or pitch to an investor. This will help you craft your message.
Who will you be presenting to? Employees, coworkers, customers, clients or investors may make up the audience for your presentation. You have to tailor your message as per their needs.
Where you’re presenting determines just how much you have to prepare and whether it’s formal or informal. It may be a networking event, which might be fun and friendly, or an official presentation, which is more formal.
Practice is key if you want to give an effective presentation. The more you practice, the more confident you’ll be. Good presentation skills can be refined with practice.
With these four Ps, you’re well on your way to mastering the art of delivering an effective presentation.
Effective Presentation Skills With Harappa
Harappa’s Speaking Effectively course will teach you key frameworks like PAM (Purpose, Audience and Message) to refine your public speaking skills. Impress your colleagues by giving an effective presentation with tips from our expert faculty. Learn about verbal and non-verbal communication, how to read your audience and even speak virtually. Enroll today to get started on your journey toward noteworthy public speaking.
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