You may not find yourself behind a microphone on a regular basis. However, it’s just as important to have great presentation skills when you’re presenting to your own circles of influence.
Hi, we’re the Communications Team. We’ve witnessed a wide variety of presentation styles over the years. Here are our Top 5 tips on how to be a more effective presenter.
1. Be Prepared. Practice, but don’t cram. Nerves can kick in whether you’re speaking to a large audience or a small, informal committee. Go over your notes until you’re comfortable with the material and can speak to it with confidence. An overly polished presentation can lose authenticity though — be sure to find a good balance.
2. Bring your personality out to play. Your audience will be more engaged if you’re enthusiastic and passionate about the project or topic. Personal anecdotes or humor can be great tools for maintaining attention too. Lose the note cards and just be yourself.
3. Stay positive. The audience is your friend.
4. Look at people, not your slides. Make eye contact with as many people as you can. A good rule of thumb is a gaze of 3-5 seconds before shifting to the next friendly face. This makes them feel both important and included.
5. Breathe. Relax and pause when you need to collect your thoughts. Oxygen is essential.