Presenting is an integral part of most business people’s roles. It can also be the activity which is the most dreaded. To many people, just the thought of public speaking sends them into a nervous panic. But it doesn’t have to be this way. With a few simple tips and techniques you can learn to control your nerves and deliver a winning presentation. Attending good presentation skills training courses and IT training courses and personal development courses will greatly enhance your presentation abilities.
The most important thing about presentations is that they must be interesting and stimulating. We have all sat through tedious presentations looking at our watches and wondering if they will ever finish. If you want to avoid people feeling like this about your presentations then read our top tips below on presenting with confidence and charisma:-
1. Know your subject
This may seem really obvious but it is well worth mentioning anyway. A good presenter knows the subject they are speaking about inside out. Do your homework, research your subject and refresh your memory about your topic. There is nothing worse for your credibility than being asked a question which you do not know the answer to.
2. Understand your audience
Many presenters base their presentations around what they want to say rather than what their audience wants to hear. It is vital that you understand your audience if you are going to get your message across effectively. This means that you need to put yourself ‘in their shoes’ to work out what is going to interest them and then pitch the presentation at their level.
3. Control your nerves
If you speak with courage, confidence and conviction about a subject then people will usually believe that you know what you are talking about. Even if you are like jelly inside you must come across as supremely confident. There are many techniques to controlling your nerves from deep breathing to creative visualisation. The trick is finding out which ones work for you and then practising them.
4. Be your true self
Letting your personality shine through when delivering a presentation is the best way to give a charismatic performance. We are all originals and audiences respond best when they can relate to the speaker in some way. By all means practice your presentation but try not to read from notes in the real thing and above all be authentic in your delivery.
5. Use PowerPoint sparingly
Technology is great for highlighting points but the best presenters are the ones who can take to the floor with only themselves for company (and possibly a microphone) and capture the audience’s attention. PowerPoint is a useful tool but never forget that it is an aid to the presentation and not the reason for it. Keep things simple and ensure that slides are visually attractive and relevant.
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Author: Karen Osborn is a highly experienced Key Account Manager working in the Learning & Development arena on bespoke development programmes and organisational culture. Karen leads and creates effective learning & development programmes for a range of clients at leading training consultants, Thales Training & Consultancy.