Presentation skills are something that every student builds on while at university. Whether you are part of a society and must make an opening presentation or you have to complete a project and present your methodology and findings, you will have to deliver presentations quite often. This article addresses a few tricks to help you improve your presentation skills and send a well-understood and effective message to you audience through your speech.
1. No Reading from Transcripts
Talking naturally and briefly looking over your notes to remind you what needs to be said next will make the audience feel closer to you and your story.
2. Make Eye Contact with you Audience
It is important to make the audience feel like they are the only recipients of your message.
3. Vary the Tone, Pitch and Volume of your Voice
This will enable you to emphasise some words or parts of your speech according to their importance. Avoid taking a monotone voice as you will show no passion, but only indifference to the audience.
4. When giving a Presentation, Stand on your Feet and Move a Little
Gestures are allowed but limited. You want to appear calm and confident, not jumpy like a monkey.
5. Use Visual Aids if Appropriate and Necessary
Referring to these will help you draw the public’s attention to the main ideas in your presentation.
6. Rehearse your Talk
It is important to know the structure of your presentation really well and not to stumble on your words. Rehearsing prevents this and also improves your presentation skills, especially if you have someone listen to you and give you feedback afterwards.
7. Stay Focused During your Presentation
If you feel nervous, then your mind may start wondering and you may end up talking about something else not relevant to your chosen/given topic. Relax and keep focused on your task.
8. Always ask the Audience for any Questions
If there are, then you should answer them honestly and concisely. If you find that you do not know the answer completely, say so and tell the public that you will come back with an answer at a later time.
Many people feel scared when they make their first public talk and the feeling may not go away for the second or third presentation either. This is why the above tricks should help you ease some of your nervousness in order to make an effective presentation. Good luck!