Effective Presentation Skills Training

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Have you ever felt anxious because you have a presentation to make? Did you ever feel that the time to prepare is too short? Have you ever felt so overwhelmed that you don't know where to start?

Welcome to the world of doing presentations! A skill that should never be overlooked because it opens doors to personal and corporate success.

Presentation is just one of the ways to convey an idea, report data, and provide information. It is not just about giving lifeless facts and figures; it has a human element to it that gives each presentation its own personality.

What are effective ways to train presentation skills?

Actually, the only training you can do is to improve your public speaking skills -- notably, your voice modulation, speech emphasis, posture and gestures, eye contact, and delivery ñ pretty much, the fundamental stuff.

Setting these aside, the key to improve your presentation skills is not mainly just about speaking skills but also, the knowledge of what works best.

There are universal truths that you should exploit when giving presentations. These are facts based on experience and scientific research. Knowing these can make a big difference in your presentations.

A picture is worth a thousand words

Yes. This old adage can never be truer especially, in presentations. Scientific studies have proven that people take in more information from visuals and pictures. Research analysis concluded that 55% of the information we take in is visual and only 7% is text, the remaining 38% is audio.

Human eyes are information sponges. As the studies have proven, our eyes are the main vehicles in capturing information. This is mainly why more people prefer TV over books and why children favor picture books over text-only reading material.

Use this scientific truth to your advantage when it comes to making presentations. Use relevant and catchy pictures to drive your point; use color-aided graphs and charts. If possible, get rid of bulleted points.

Practice makes perfect

You can have the perfect idea. You can already visualize the best way to deliver your presentation but you'll never know if you can really pull it off if you don't rehearse. Always remember to rehearse, rehearse, and rehearse!

The best way to rehearse your presentation is with family and friends. Also, it is always better to video record your rehearsal so you can later analyze it on your own. Recognize the holes of presentation and flaws on your delivery and accordingly, correct them until you're satisfied.

Flexibility through Active Listening

To give an effective presentation, you must also learn to employ active listening. What this means is that you should be observant and conscious of your audience receptivity. Determine which area of your presentation captures their interest and which areas where they seem indifferent. If you are able to do this, you can effectively adjust in impromptu.

This is an expert skill. You can train this through comprehensively learning body language. Practice this in your every exchange with a coworker, friend, or family.


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