WHY ARE PRESENTATION SKILLS IMPORTANT?
Provide us with the opportunities to:
- Deliver information about your programs and services.
- Educate the public on specific issues.
- Enlist support for financial and managerial needs.
- Influence and persuade stakeholders, government leaders, etc.
FOUR CORNERSTONES OF A GREAT PRESENTATION
Great presentations require you to:
- Know Your Audience.
- Know the Material.
- Know Your Purpose.
- Know Yourself.
METHOD 1: KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE
Why is it important to know your audience?
It allows you to determine what and how you should present and help you tailor the presentation to fit the audience’s interests and audience’s needs.
Start by creating an audience profile that includes:
Ways to Gather Information about your Audience
- Talk to the members of the audience before presentation.
- Ask them to fill a survey before the presentation.
- Talk to the organizer.
- Review evaluations from past presentations.
- Know the audience by attending a presentation.
- Ask for information that describes the audience.
METHOD 2: KNOW YOUR PURPOSE
Why are you doing the presentation?
Decide whether the main purpose of your talk is to…
- Provide information: increase awareness.
- Change attitudes: create emotion.
- Build new skills: training activities.
There are different types of presentations depending on your purpose.
TYPES OF PRESENTATIONS
- Informational Presentation (provide information)
Purpose: Inform the audience about a specific topic or issue.
2. Motivational Presentation (change attitudes)
Purpose: Interest the audience in your topic and motivate them to take action.
3. Demonstration Presentation (build new skills)
Purpose: Teach the audience something new.
4. Extemporaneous Presentation
A person is asked to speak without preparation.
METHOD 3: KNOW THE MATERIAL
To do this:
Get information from reliable sources.
Get data /statistics that is related to your audience.
Provide some resources that will be helpful to the audience.
METHOD 4: KNOW YOURSELF
Knowing yourself is like how you would behave as a speaker. It’s about knowing…
- Your style.
- Your skills/strength.
- Your weakness.
COMMUNICATION IS KEY
Our body language can positively or negatively impact the way we interact with one another.
- Maintain visual contact with your listeners until they feel “seen”.
- Be sure to make eye contact with everyone, or, when speaking with large groups, with all parts of your audience.
- Speed – slow to fast.
- Volume – soft to loud.
- Pitch – low to high.
- Enthusiasm – amount of energy.
Stance and Gestures
- Stand in a comfortable position.
- Make slow gestures to emphasize or illustrate key points.
Pause and Breathe
- Pause and breathe after making a point.
- Breathe from your diaphragm, not from your chest.
Avoid Filler Words
- Vocalized pauses
- Examples: “um,” “ah,” “uh,”
- Avoid filler words by:
- Audiotaping and Videotaping yourself.
- Asking friends/family to watch and inform you when the word is used.
THREE PARTS OF A PRESENTATION
Get the interest of the audience by making a strong opening statement. Like:
- Introduce yourself.
- Announce the topic.
- Justify the topic.
- Establish your credibility.
- Give the audience a preview statement.
The body is your main points and supporting information. Do this by:
- Focusing on main points.
- Supporting each main point with facts, evidence and reasons.
- Using a variety of learning styles and interactive exercises to help emphasize each main point.
Provide the audience with a clear “take-home” message. For doing this:
- Summarize the main points.
- Make a memorable closing or call for action.
- Provide a list of resources or references.
- Ask participants to fill out the evaluation form.
- Allow time for QA session.
VISUAL AIDS AND SUPPORTIVE MATERIALS
- Practice before actual presentation.
- Don’t cover the screen.
- Ensure all listeners can see the visual aid.
- Talk to the audience – not the board or screen.
- Have a backup plan just in case the equipment does not work.
- Keep the presentation simple with minimum detail.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS TIPS
- Think the questions may be asked and prepare the answer beforehand.
- Don’t hesitate to say you don’t know the answer to the question.
- Always be polite while answering questions.
- Allow the audience to answer some of the questions – this enhances the experience and allows knowledge sharing.
METHODS FOR MANAGING STRESS
- Practice and get feedback from friends, co-workers, etc.
- Be realistic and set realistic goals for yourself.
- Use relaxation exercises such as deep breathing.
- Encourage yourself and avoid self-criticism.
TECHNIQUES FOR MANAGING STRESS:
- Progressive Muscle Relaxation – Isolate one muscle group and creating tension for 8-10 seconds, and then let the muscle relax.
- Mindfulness – Focus on body sensations and breathing.
- Meditation – Clear the mind of stressful outside interference by focusing on a single thing, such as a key word, sound, or image.
- Guided Imagery – Direct thoughts to a safe, comfortable place free of stress such as a beach or garden.
- Humor Therapy – Use the power of smiles and laughter to aid healing.
I am a student of National University of Science and Technology (NUST), Islamabad studying Mechanical Engineering. I am also a Content Writer and know little bit about photo and video editing.