How to Improve Presentation Skills
The Public Speaking Tips Series
Some ideas you can use to improve your presentation skills.
So if you were asked at work to give a presentation in the afternoon on your sales or an update on what’s happening in your department. What would you do? Would it set you off or would you be cool, calm and collected enough to able to put one together? What if you had a formula to put a presentation together in 10 minutes and build your presentation on PowerPoint from there? It seems like a big ask, but see how many of the public speaking tips below resonate for you.
“In any public speaking course, the aim is to finally get people to enjoy public speaking, while they improve their presentation skills. I also want to show them how to put a presentation together in 10 minutes if they have to. It’s all about making public speaking easy for you. Keep it simple and keep it short. Your audience will love you for it.” Shiera O’Brien, Public Speaking Coach
The 5 Key Points Rule of Presentations Skills
Pick 5 points you are going to make in your presentation. Point 1 is the opening point, where you set the scene for what you are going to speak about. It should be an introduction and it definitely should contain the Why or the presentation. At the end of the introduction, they audience should know why they are there, why the need to know what you are going to tell them and why it’s important. You are going to tell them what your going to tell them.
Points 2-4 are the middle of your presentation, where you will develop your introduction and expand out what you are saying. It should be a logical progression. At the end of these the speaker should know more about your introduction and why you are telling this. In points 2-4, you should probably have covered what they need to know, how it works or applies to them and what they can do with the information. IN points 2-4 you are going to tell them.
Point number 5 is the summary for your presentation. Here you are going to wrap up in reinforce the previous 4 points? In your summary, you should leave your audience in no doubt about the value of what you had to say. In point number 5, you are going to tell them what you told them and get them to do something about what you told them, whether it’s to ask questions or talk to you further off-line about it.
The Rule of 3 for Speaking in Public
With people’s attention spans getting tested everyday with an information overload, everybody will love a public speaker who keeps it simple. And then gets to the point and presents no more 3 key ideas in each piece of their presentation. I suggest you aim for 2 and 3 at a stretch. So if you were doing a sales presentation, you might share the 2-3 sales strategies that are making the difference to sales results and give examples.
Tell the story that proves your point
Story-telling is a great tool to use when speaking in public, In the public speaking courses outlined here, we always get the participants to illustrate their point with a story rather than facts. Why? People love stories and respond to stories. So if you have a concrete example of a success story, it takes people right into it. People remember stories, they do not remember facts and figures.
A great story I have comes from when I was working with somebody who was explaining a complex accounting idea. So I suggested he turn it into a metaphor or a story. When he explained it using the metaphor of producing smart phone, it was suddenly easy to remember and easy to understand. It is a public speaking skill that I would highly recommend you develop. It will make life a lot easier for you.
Ask the audience questions
Putting questions to your audience is a great way to connect to the audience and involve them in your presentation. Plan on perhaps having 1-3 questions that you can ask, if they are appropriate, for example, how many people here have heard of x? Use
Questions to check how well the audience is following, for example, can anyone here give me a an example where they think they could use this? Questions are great at the end of a presentation to get the audience to take action of what you have said, for example, have I provided enough insight or would you like an emailed report on what I have shared? This is a great way of testing your audiences interest in your presentation and the follow-up
Give your audience a Call-to-Action
In our sales training courses, we often discuss the importance of a call-to-action. It is important that you get your prospect to follow-up and do something with what you have told the. So at the end of your presentation, I suggest the audience do something with what you have told them, whether it is to contact you, ask you questions, have a follow-up meeting or identify further discussion opportunities. When they have a call-to-action, you are more likely to get feedback on the value they got from hearing you speak.
So in summary, here is the quick and easy way to design your presentation in 10 minutes.
1. know the 5 ideas or concepts you want to share.
2. Pick 2-3 points you are going to make in each section of your presentation.
3: Identify 1-2 stories and examples that illustrate your points and place them where you want in talk.
4: Prepare questions that engage the audience.
5. Have an idea of what you want the audience to do with what you have told them.
These are some ideas for making your public speaking easier. If you have structure in your presentations, it can only help you improve you presentation skills and help you make more impact.
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learn how you can go beyond this to deliver work presentations with confidence.
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