According to the findings of Prezi, presentation skills are a necessity for about half of the working population.
But just because it’s a necessity doesn’t mean it’s enjoyable.
Giving a presentation can be stressful, even if you’re well-versed in your topic.
Yet by learning a few skills, you can conquer fear and improve your presentation skills to crush your next meeting.
Here are five of the best tips for improving presentation skills.
Some people have the confidence to get up in front of the boardroom and wing their whole presentation.
Unfortunately, most of us aren’t those people.
For the rest of us, rehearsal is a great way to develop presentation skills and overcome nervousness.
There aren’t any hard and fast guidelines for how long you should rehearse, but make sure to give yourself enough rehearsal time that you’re comfortable with the material.
You’ll also want to get a third-party’s opinion, so ask your friends or family if you can practice your presentation in front of them.
2. Always Have a Backup Plan
Murphy’s Law states, “whatever can go wrong, will go wrong.”
For anyone who has ever had a missing file or technology troubles, you know how true the old saying is.
While you shouldn’t worry yourself sick about possible disastrous outcomes, it’s a good idea to prepare for all possible scenarios.
Pack backup power cords if you’re using a laptop, or store your files on the cloud so you don’t have to worry about misplacing your USB drive.
3. Engage Your Audience
The average attention span is shockingly low. While there’s some debate on the exact figures, most people will only pay attention to one thing for a few minutes at a time.
To combat wandering attention, you’ll need to make sure that your presentation is engaging as well as thoughtful.
The info is important, but how you deliver it is just as crucial.
A great presentation engages the audience and keeps them interested throughout.
Make eye contact with your audience, change your inflection and vocal volume, and gesticulate. Psychology suggests that certain hand movements may even help your credibility.
4. Include Your Audience
Improving presentation skills means understanding that your presentation isn’t a monologue, but a dialogue.
Though it’s true you’ll be doing most of the speaking, it’s always a good idea to leave room for audience participation.
If you’re comfortable improvising, you can use an audience member’s anecdote to help solidify your point.
By far the easiest way to engage the audience is by leaving room for questions at the end of your presentation. In general, give yourself at least three to five minutes to answer questions or acknowledge audience feedback.
5. Time Your Presentation
The briefer your presentation, the likelier your audience is to pay attention for the entirety of your speech.
Of course, going under on your allotted time can be every bit as bad boring your audience.
Make sure you’re hitting the right amount of time by timing yourself as you prepare your presentation.
You can use a stopwatch or visit this website, which allows you to plan your presentation in its entirety, including timing your speech.
Up Your Presentation Game with These Presentation Skills
These five presentation skills will help you take your next presentation to the next level.
Of course, a good presentation is contingent upon its environment, too.
Make your next presentation memorable by checking out these five corporate event ideas.