So you’re well into 2014 and you haven’t quite chosen which of the many things you CAN improve on that you actually SHOULD improve on. Well, have you thought about your presentation skills? Chances are that you’ve done many, over and over, and you’ve asked yourself, “How effective am I at presenting? Do I motivate my audience? Do I inspire thought or action?”
These are excellent questions that you should continually be asking yourself by the way! If you haven’t been asking yourself these questions, don’t worry. We here at KillerStartups have your back with a list of the basic ideas you should be looking at in order to improve your presentation skills:
Make sure you know who your target audience is because you have to connect directly with them. Find out what matters to them. What are they looking to learn from your presentation? Don’t treat each and every audience as the same group of people. Even if you’re presenting to just one person, make sure you find out about them and why exactly they’re interested in your subject matter.
No two individuals are the same and neither are two audiences.
Why? Why? Why?
Why are you presenting to a particular audience? Why are they listening to you now? Why is this timing “right” for this audience? Ask yourself these questions beforehand in addition to outlining exactly what you’re looking to get out of the presentation. Get it clear and get it down. It’ll help you knock your presentation out of the park knowing the answer to as many “whys” as you can.
Take a look at your presentation and organize them into more efficient categories. Don’t just “lay it all out there” for them to digest. Break your presentation down into its essentials and give the details you need to communicate under these headings. You don’t want to lose the audience’s attention off the bat and you can certainly minimize those chances by saying things like, “I’m going to give the six key points to…”
Be sure to open and close each section so your audience can follow more easily.
Body Language And Style
With smaller audiences and in one and one presentations, try and match the style of the people to who you are presenting. You’ll want to consider your tone, volume, body language, and speed. You want to meet your audience on their terms. Think of it as visiting a new culture in a country you’ve never been to. You understand that you are you and that you can’t be a total chameleon but what you also know from traveling is that you give 100% to trying to adapt and to being accommodating. This is how you should approach your audience.
Close It – Summarize It
Tell your audience that you are bringing your presentation to a close and let them know what exactly your aim was with the presentation by saying something like, “Through this presentation, I wanted you to understand these six ideas. Number one…”
If anything wasn’t clear to them during the presentation, hopefully this clears it up for them and this approach at its best, reinforces to those already closely following your presentation.
These steps can help fine tune your presentations if you haven’t already incorporated them into your style. They’re not major innovations but a reminder of the basics you can add or revisit in your next set of presentations. Do you have any presentation tips? Share them with KillerStartups in the comments!