6 Ways to Polish Your Presentation Skills

6 Ways to Polish Your Presentation Skills
By regionaleducationalinstitute | May 21, 2021

While presentations don’t usually win awards, they can make a world of difference in various aspects of life.

No matter the industry you’re in, you must be able to communicate well to leave a significant mark and build trust in your audience. Of course, this doesn’t just apply to business.

In this competitive world, you need to be able to express your ideas clearly and effectively. From taking English language courses to learning how to use presentation tools effectively, here are six ways you can polish your presentation skills to bring you a step closer to your goals:

1. Improve Your English Skills

Don’t assume that you have no need for spoken English training. Being good at writing in the language doesn’t automatically make you a great English speaker. This is primarily because there is a significant difference between spoken and written English.

For one, you don’t have to concern yourself about the correct pronunciation of words in writing. This can significantly impact how you showcase your expertise, especially if you’re speaking in front of a native English-speaking crowd.

Also, your language proficiency when speaking in a formal setting needs to be sharper. In fact, it needs to be even sharper than that of a writer since you have very little time to construct your sentences in your mind while presenting in front of an audience.

You also need to accentuate certain words for emphasis and to make sure your message comes across clearly by using the right tone of voice.

2. Focus on Your Goal.

When presenting in public, you need to design your speech, visual aids, and all other aspects of the presentation around your goal. In other words, don’t make it about you.

Whether you’re pitching to get a project funded, proposing a business relationship, or trying to make a sale, you need to focus on the overall purpose of your presentation: to provide what your audience needs.

During your preparation, you must keep in mind what your audience wants to know, not just the things you can tell them.

Keep an eye out for their responses to whatever information you’re giving. This way, you can react accordingly and make sure that you have achieved your goals by the end of your presentation.

3. Learn from Great Speakers.

There are so many videos online featuring generations of great speakers. Use these to become a better presenter.

Deconstruct their speeches: determine the tactics they used and study their execution carefully. Be sure to take note of the things you can use for your presentation. Compare and critique different strategies and practice what you learned until you master it.

4. Create an Outline for Your Presentation.

Giving your audience an outline for your presentation helps them understand the importance of what you’re offering your audience. Do this by opening your presentation strong to make sure the crowd knows why they should pay attention to what you say.

It could also help to create a storyboard to organize the ideas and details you’ll be presenting.

If you’re using slides and other visual aids, you can describe what the sections are about on sticky notes or comments beside them. After that, arrange them in a logical order and add or subtract information as needed.

This will also help you boost your presentation’s success by ensuring that you offer the right amount of information to your audience. To ensure this, answer this question for every slide you make: Does this help them understand the message? If you’re doubtful of its usefulness, it may be best not to include it.

Once you have an outline that you know by heart, there is very little chance that you’ll lose track of your thoughts no matter how nervous you may be.

5. Learn How to Use Your Presentation Tools.

Your audience can get more from what you say in front of them if your speech is supported by visual aids and other presentation tools. This means that, at some point, you’ll need to learn how to use them expertly.

Undergo Microsoft training courses if necessary, but make sure you apply them effectively in your presentation.

According to Apple’s Guy Kawasaki, slideshows must:

  • Never go over 10 slides
  • Last 20 minutes or less
  • Have a font size of at least 30 points

Also, you must never put too much information in a single slide, as it will defeat the purpose of your visual aid. Doing so will help you avoid what presenters call “Death by PowerPoint.”

The rule of thumb is that slides should support your talk and not the other way around. As the presenter, you should be the focus of attention, which means any good set of slides won’t be of any use without you.

That said, make sure that the slides have less information to offer than you. They will only serve as a visual cue to help your audience get a better grasp of what you’re talking about.

Present Like a Pro

Presenting in front of an audience doesn’t need to be daunting. By polishing your presentation skills, you gain not only a new item on your resume, but also a stepping stone that could help elevate your career.

We can help you gain all the skills you need. Talk to us about our training and short courses today.