Presentation is a make-or-break opportunity. Its importance cannot be taken for granted. Everything relies on it from your image to your intelligence. No matter what your IQ is, no matter how good your product is, no matter how well-crafted your product is, if you can’t present well, people will not take you seriously. They determine through your presentation if you make sense or not. It beats out your innate charisma in every single possible way. That is how big of a deal it is. You can sell.
Let me tell you that it’s not easy. And you need to admit it to be on top of it and wing it. Being in front of a crowd that you do not know is terrifying. Imagine how unsettling it can feel to speak in front of them. That isn’t to mention that on your shoulders, you carry bigger baggage than yourself.
So, below are the top ways on how you can improve your skills in presenting.
1. Smile and look your audience in the eye.
Smile is the magic pill that sets you in the mood. When you smile and look someone in the eye, you exude confidence, competence, and credibility. You look friendlier, inviting, and believable. It makes people trust you more. As a presenter, you don’t want to look intimidating.
By smiling, it also becomes easier to get their attention. Coupling your smile with eye contact makes you a bigger person with an aura of charming character that makes you pleasant to work with, look at, and listen.
2. Use hand gestures and pace on the platform.
From time to time, you can walk around and use your hands to highlight details. Be cautious about overdoing them, however, because you do not want to look distracted and antsy. Apply only nonverbal languages when deemed needed to stress your point, not so you can unwind yourself.
3. Take care of your voice and be keen on your words.
Your voice needs to be authoritative, pleasing, and warm all at the same time. While it may sound contradictory and takes a lot of work, it is not. Your tone, not only that, it must be congenial; it should also be coupled with intelligent words. It is essential to sound accommodating. Simultaneously, however, you also need to acute and sensible.
4. Use your wit and insight.
Tension is always right there in any public event. Don’t sound too stiff. Use your wit to bring humor. It’s a timeless icebreaker. If you want your audience’s engagement, make them laugh. Make them think. Don’t deliver jokes that are disgracing. Give them joy through your intelligence. So, make yourself sound witty and sharp.
5. Make your visuals strikingly concise and straightforward.
Do not overfeed with excessive information. Avoid unnecessary amount of visual stimulus. Do not put into your slides a paragraph. Nothing more. Do not make your Powerpoint too distracting and colorful because you do not want to mislead. The aim is to channel one’s attention only to the necessary details.
6. Dress up for it and be confident.
For one, you’d like to grab your audience’s attention. How can you do that? Give them visual delight. Some are naturally good-looking. If you happened to be not, it doesn’t mean nothing else can make up for it. Your clothes can make you look respectful and pleasant. Remember that to get someone’s attention; the goal is to stimulate as much of their senses as possible.
7. Study your materials and practice deliberately.
Each of the above is a skill in their own right. What does it tell us? Practice. By saying practice, it doesn’t rehearse. You do not practice only the night before; you do not practice a few days back. You exercise regularly until practicing that alone becomes second-nature of yours. You practice until it becomes deep to your bone until it becomes a skill you can truly call yours.
How to practice?
Do it daily in front of a big mirror while imagining that a ton of crowd is right before you. Record yourself, re-watch yourself. Study your video, pin down what you need to improve to become more productive. Work on it tirelessly. Involve your soul. Soon enough, you will be the best presenter yourself can be.