Your presentation skills can play a significant role in your success in the business arena. Regardless if you’re an entrepreneur or employee, you need to effectively present in front of a crowd, which is usually made up of shareholders, customers, colleagues, and the general public.
To ensure that your upcoming presentation will be the reason for you to climb the corporate ladder, you must exert time and effort in sharpening your presentation skills.
A business English course can be a goldmine of information for people who are still learning the ropes in the business industry. Aside from checking this resource to know how to sharpen your presentation skills, the following tips can also help:
Practice Breeds Confidence
One of the reasons why people get too nervous whenever they present is they don’t know what will happen. This unpredictability can heighten their fears of being ridiculed or judged in front of a crowd. How can you handle a participant who suddenly asks a question in the middle of your presentation? Can you provide additional information whenever a participant asks you to? To avoid jitters, practice as often as possible. This is one of the most basic techniques to become a more effective and better presenter.
Regardless of how busy you are during the week, always find time to practice. You should practice on how you’re going to deliver your talk, how will occupy the space in front, and how will you answer participants whenever they raise during the most unexpected times of the presentation. If possible, rehearse in front of a friend and ask for their feedback about your performance.
When you know what you’re going to do or say during your presentation, it’ll be easier for you to be confident. You’re basically prepared for whatever will happen!
Observe Minimalism When Preparing Your Slides
When it comes to the slides you’ll use in every presentation, less is always more. You don’t need to fill all of your slides with moving images and colorful fonts. Remember, you’re presenting to express your professional skills and experience to the audience, not impress them on how you can make the most intricate or creative slides.
To help you prepare an effective presentation, start with your slides first. Since this will be your supplementary material during your presentation, how your slides look can affect the audience’s ability to learn.
Here are some tips to help you prepare for your slides:
- Build a storyboard first: Even if you already know what you’re going to talk about for your upcoming presentation, this doesn’t mean that you should immediately create your slides.
Before opening your laptop and decide what color of slides you should use, build a storyboard first. Create bullet points on what topics are you going to discuss first and what comes next. This process will make it easy for you to trim down your slides while ensuring that your audience will learn something from your presentation.
- Aim for simple slides: As mentioned, your presentation isn’t an avenue to impress the audience on how good you are in combining texts and moving images. When creating slides, always aim for simplicity.
Use the most basic fonts and stick to three colors in your slides. Words in your slides should also be presented in short sentences and subtopics. Placing an entire paragraph in your slide is a big no-no when presenting. Your audience can’t possibly listen to you and read your slides at the same time.
- Avoid using jargon: You’ve been working as a marketing manager for years, which is why you’re confident that you know all of the jargon used in the industry. However, your audience might not have the same experience as you and using marketing jargon will only reduce their comprehension.
To prevent this from happening, avoid using jargon in your slides and discussion. Use simple words instead. It’ll be easier to drive your point across if everyone in the room is on the same page.
Your Audience Is Part Of Your Presentation – Engage With Them
One of the biggest misconceptions people have when it comes to presentations is that it’s a one-sided proposition. Sure, you might be the resource speaker of the corporate event, but this doesn’t mean that your audience can’t say anything. As one way of improving your presentation skills, always take the time to engage with your audience.
Regularly ask your audience what they think about your discussions. Invite them to raise questions, as well. Engaging with your audience can provide several benefits. For one, doing this will make your audience feel that they’re part of the conversation, and their opinions are valued in the presentation. Engagement with your audience will also make you more relatable as a presenter.
Regardless of how many resources you use to improve your presentation skills, don’t forget to be consistent with your efforts. The more you work on improving your presentation skills, the sooner you’ll reap the rewards of your hard work.