Information is power, as many people have probably heard. However, information is only powerful if one knows how to present it effectively. It is crucial for a person to be knowledgeable. However, it is more crucial to be able to convey his/her opinion. This requires a person to have proper presentation skills. As a student, one may require presentation skills when applying for grants or standing for an elected position. An as employee one requires presentation skills since you may very well be asked to make a presentation every now and then.
The most common belief about making a good presentation is that you need to know your way around a good software for making presentation like a PowerPoint. However that is just not true. Good presentation skills involve a lot more which includes confidence of talking in front of a group of people and having your matter prepared properly.
In this article, we shall cover firstly the importance of good presentation skills and thereafter move to a few tips to make an effective presentation.
Why are presentation skills important?
Having good presentation skills is one of the best ways of having yourself noticed at meetings and other gatherings. They can be used to your advantage while talking to customers, explaining your ideas to colleagues or even making a pitch to clients, investors or to your business partners.
Given below are a few reasons why presentation skills are important:
- Create a positive impression: Having good presentation skills reflects well and helps you make a positive impression. It is fundamental to understand that all interactions with people can be made more appealing and favourable if you possess good presentation skills.
- Focusing Attention: Presentation skills can be of great help to bring yourself to attention. There will be many people who will want to do the same things you want, attain similar goals. To compete with them and come out victorious, you need to be noticed. Communicating with those around you forms an essential of having good presentation skills. So if you are able to communicate your points to the other party, you have made a spot for yourself.
- Time management: Everybody is in a rush. Therefore it is important to get to your point effectively, while also being quick. Good presentation skills are important for that. They help you become clear and concise in a way that you are able to convey yourself to the other person without taking too much of their time.
- Boost sales: In a business environment, any trick that a person can use to boost sales is the go to for them. Presentation skills are perhaps one of the best ways for a person to boost their sales. Any person, customer or client, is bound to engage more and be more intrigued in a presentation or talk which is sharp, direct and time saving. Therefore, it is crucial to be smart with your presentation skills.
- Help you rise at your workplace: Numerous studies have shown that an average employee has a higher chance of promotion and growth, if he/she holds good presentation skills. This is because presentation skills will help with interviews, meetings, networking events, conferences, interaction with staff and clients, training events, etc.
- Shows your ability to lead: A person with a commanding presence is always appreciated.
A few things to keep in mind to improve your presentation skills:
- Know your audience: A presentation is most effective when you know your audience. Have an idea of what they are expecting. There is a difference between what they are expecting and what they want to know. As a good presenter, it is important to know what they want to know. That is how you can give them what they will appreciate the most.
- Keep it interesting: No one likes to sit at a presentation that is boring or bland. An ordinary person has a relatively poor attention span. Therefore, to have the best impact with your presentation, it is important to keep it quick, direct and interesting. The best way to do this is by making it interactive and includes things that they might want.
- Present well: An important part of good presentation skills in how you present yourself. Don’t be shabby. Wear proper clothes, but do not overdo it. Having a prim and proper external appearance will go a long way in showing that you are serious about your work and therefore people will pay more attention and take you more seriously. Let it be known through your presentation that you care about what you’re doing.
- Stay organised: One odd hiccups here or there are perfectly acceptable. However, that does not mean you have a bundle of papers that you keep flipping though. It is okay to have notes, but not to the point that you seem unorganized or unprepared. This tends to annoy the people you are presenting to.
- Convert your nervousness into enthusiasm: It is normal for a person to get nervous. What’s important is how you handle your nervousness. There are two ways, you either let yourself turn into a bundle of nerves and fall apart, which no one appreciates. The other is that you take it as an opportunity to rise to the occasion. Enthusiasm for your cause is a key factor in making you a good presenter.
Now that you have a rough idea of why it is important to have presentation skills and how to improve them, the next obvious step is to inculcate them into your behaviour. Develop a personal style of speaking using these tips and see the results.