Presentations can be nerve wracking if you’re the one standing up on stage to speak. So to help you out, we’ve prepared a list of 15 different tips to help you improve your presentation skills.
1. Do something to calm your nerves before the presentation
Whether it’s eating something light, doing a bit of exercise or going to the toilet, give yourself a few minutes to calm your nerves before your presentation.
2. Don’t try too hard and be someone you’re not
If you’re usually a very perky person then going into a presentation with a serious attitude won’t fit. Use your personality to your advantage so you’re more comfortable on stage.
3. Rehearse the presentation before going up on stage
Practice makes perfect so rehearse in front of a mirror or friends and colleagues.
4. Understand that the audience is rooting for you
Your audience is there because they want to learn something and to support you, not because they’re going to heckle and embarrass you.
5. Keep some water handy
A dry mouth is an enemy to all public speakers.
6. Understand your audience before planning your presentation
If your audience understands technical jargon then feel free to use it. Otherwise, stick to simple terms so that your audience and comprehend what you’re saying.
7. Make some images or videos to go along with the presentation
No good presentation is complete without some images to go along with it.
8. Use a narrative to keep your audience hooked
If you have the writing skills to do so, making your presentation follow a narrative (much like a story) can get your audience hooked.
9. Study what other public speakers do
Look at what other great public speakers do so that you can pick up on tips and tricks like their body language.
10. Keep your presentation short and to the point
No one likes a long presentation so keep it short and to the point so that it’s easier to digest.
11. Don’t avoid eye contact when giving your presentation
Even if you have to constantly look at different people, make sure you have some eye contact with your audience.
12. Turn your nerves into excitement
Nervousness can be turned into excitement and used to your advantage. Instead of hiding your nerves, try to utilise them as a source of enthusiasm instead.
13. Give your audience a chance to interact with you
Whether it’s answering questions or asking them to participate in something, interaction is always a great way to keep them engaged during your performance.
14. Consider attending a public speaking class
Classes and courses can help you learn more about public speaking if you’ll be doing it on a regular basis.
15. Dress the part and look professional
Dress for the occasion and look smart when giving your presentation so that people are more likely to listen to you with interest.
Below, we’ve added an infographic that can assist you in picking up new presentation skills.