Do you sigh every time you walk into a meeting and a PowerPoint on the screen? Me, too! Even the most exciting topic can lose the room with a boring presentation. Here are some tips I have learned to help make my presentations more stimulating.
1. Know Your Audience
First and foremost, you HAVE to know whom you’re speaking to. Have a room full of busy executive? Make it short, sweet and to the point. Younger audience? Add videos and make it really interactive.
2. Tell A Story
Make it entertaining. There’s nothing worse than someone sitting there and listing off facts…except if they’re just reading said facts right off the screen with no eye contact. Engage your audience. Tell them a story and make them remember. If you’re looking for tips on storytelling, check out Matthew Luhn.
3. Make It Relatable
Let’s be honest – if there’s not a benefit for the listener, they’re tuned out. Connect to your subjects, make them see why they should care.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
This sounds so basic but practice truly does make perfect. Take the time to craft your message. It’s not only what you say, it’s also how you say it. Figure out which points you want to emphasize. Grab your team (or even your friends and family) and ask them to sit through your rehearsal. Ask for honest feedback. You want to know if you’re dropping ummms and likes all day or if you’re swaying from side to side like you’re rocking a baby. Small things like that can be distracting during a presentation and if you’re aware of your issues, you can consciously work to make them better.
What are you doing to improve your presentation skills? What has helped you? I’d love to hear your answers in the comments below.
Megan A. Dutta