10 Top Tips to Improve your Presentation Skills
Presenting information clearly and effectively is a critical skill to get your message or opinion across. Whatever job you do, you will need to know how to plan and deliver a clear and effective presentation.
Understanding and developing presentation skills will also help you stand out during your job search.
In this article we share our 10 top tips to help improve your presentation skills.
Practice your presentation as many times as you need so you are comfortable with the content and pace. If you can rehearse with a friend or family member, you will find it much easier when you present for real. Some people like to record themselves (e.g. with a phone) – check your timings and take notes on what you can improve.
If you are using any equipment, e.g. computer, clicker, microphone, it is a good idea to practice with this as well.
2. Know your audience
If you know who you are presenting to, then great – include something in your presentation that they can relate to. If you don’t know your audience, find out as much as you can – what jobs do they do, why are they attending your presentation, what do they want out of it? Put yourself in the audience – would you understand your presentation, would you find it interesting?
3. Arrive early and get to know your surroundings
Whether you are travelling across the city or just walking to another room, it is always best to leave in plenty of time and arrive early for your presentation.
If possible it is a good idea to spend time in the room you will be using – check (and double check) the lighting, sound and any other technology is working correctly.
If you get the chance, why not do one more practice run?
Smiling increases endorphins, and makes you look calm and in control of your presentation. Smiling also demonstrates confidence and enthusiasm to your audience.
If you feel positive, you will exhibit positivity.
Just be natural – don’t overdo it!
Slow your speech and add pauses for emphasis and to grab the audience’s attention. Nervous presenters tend to speak quickly – consciously slow and pause and you will come across as a natural and experienced presenter.
Replace “um” and “er” with a pause. Take a breath. Stay cool.
6. Don’t cover too much
Your presentation should be informative, entertaining and useful to those listening – but you don’t need to bombard your audience with every fact and anecdote you know.
Sometimes less is more.
“3” is a useful number to remember for presentations – a list of three things is generally easy to remember. At most have three images or three phrases on a slide.
7. Engage with the audience
Make eye contact, but don’t focus on one person or area of the room. Catching the eye of different people builds connections and trust.
8. Don’t read your presentation
If you don’t know your presentation without reading from a script or slides, it suggests you don’t really know your message or story and the audience will lose confidence in you.
At most have a few dot points or key words written down as reminders to keep the presentation flowing.
9. Be entertaining
You don’t need to be a stand-up comedian to deliver a great presentation, but you should include some humor, passion and enthusiasm if you are to keep the audience’s attention.
10. Attend other presentations
If you are presenting at a meeting or conference with other presenters, check them out to see how they interact with the audience.
Watch a range of presentations on various topics, to see what approaches work in different contexts – TED Talks are a good starting point for inspiration. Make a note of what could work for you, consider body language, speech, style and presentation slides.
Find your perfect job with Qubiti and ace your presentation with these top tips.
Use these tips to help you develop your presentation skills, and enhance a range of other communication skills at the same time. Combine these tips with our Top 10 interview tips and you will be well-prepared for your next job interview.
Your prospective employer will have a good idea of your personality, skills and experience via Qubiti – the interview is your chance to show off your best side, tell stories to show how you work and find out more about the position.
Subscribe to Qubiti today.