Young Naija Entrepreneurs

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Presentation Skills

The 10 Best Ways to Get Better at Presentations

Public speaking can be a terrifying experience for anyone who wasn’t blessed with an innate gift of eloquence. But the good news is that there’s a lot you can improve on!

One of the most important things I’ve learned in the past couple years is the importance of developing one’s own unique speaking style in order to be an effective public speaker. To make up for your lack of eloquence as a speaker, you can load up your presentations with energy, unique data, and a ton of useful information, along with a smattering of cheesy puns.

Even if you aren’t going to give the next Gettysburg Speech, there are plenty of things you can do in advance of your presentation to ease your anxiety and improve your performance. In this post, we’ll share with you our top 10 presentation tips.

  1. Do Some Practicing!

It’s only natural that you’d want to go over your presentation several times before the big day. We understand that this might be challenging for individuals with hectic schedules. Nonetheless, practicing is essential if you want an impressive presentation.

If you’re anxious about your first presentation, a script should be your best friend. Instead of winging it, consider writing out your speech if you would like to sound eloquent.

Also, practise your presentation in the location where you intend to deliver it. It is recommended by some presentation experts that actors practice their lines in a variety of positions, such as standing or sitting, on one leg, with their arms open wide, or even while using the restroom (well, may be that last one isn’t necessary). You’ll be more at ease with your presentation if you vary your setting and position as much as possible. You can also make a run-through with a colleague or friend, or record your presentation and listen to it to see where you can improve. The iconic question, “Is this really what I sound like?” can be elicited by listening to recordings of your previous presentations.

  1. Make Enthusiasm Out Of Nervous Energy.

I know this might sound weird, but I’ll frequently sip on an energy drink and listen to hip-hop music before delivering a presentation. Why? It gets me up and enables me to transform my nervousness into motivated enthusiasm. Some studies have showed that an enthusiastic presentation can supersede an eloquent one. Thus, in case you are not the Winston Churchill of speakers, ensure that you are as energetic and enthusiastic as possible before delivering your presentation. The effects of caffeine overload can vary from person to person, so it’s important to know how your body reacts to the stimulant before consuming large amounts of energy drinks.

  1. Attending Other Presentations Is Necessary.

Is your presentation a part of a seminar or conference? Then it will be great to check out other speakers before your presentation so that you may get an idea of their presentation techniques, skills and context for your own presentation. As well as allowing you to get a sense of the audience, this gesture demonstrates respect for the other presenters. What is the general attitude of the audience? Are they in a good mood to laugh, or are they a little more stern? Is the emphasis on strategy or tactics in the presentations? It’s possible that something said by another presenter will serve as a springboard for a later slide in your own presentation.

  1. Arrive On Time.

Make sure you have more than enough time to get settled in before your presentation. Preparation is easier when you have extra time to yourself and also gives you enough time to get comfortable in the presentation setting.

  1. One-to-one Conversations.

Before your presentation, make an effort to mingle with as many people as possible. When you interact with others, you appear more sociable and approachable to them. Interact with attendees by posing questions and listening to their answers. It’s possible that they’ll even give you some ideas to incorporate into your presentation.

  1. Employ Positive Visualization.

Studies have shown that positive visualization works, regardless of whether or not you’re a Buddhist monk. Having a positive outlook on a situation is more likely to come to fruition than if we don’t.

Ignore the self-deprecating thoughts like “What if it goes terrible out there?” and “What if I throw up mid-presentation?” by imagining yourself creating plenty of laughter while delivering like Audrey Hepburn and Jimmy Fallon. It’s worth giving positive thinking a chance.

  1. Take Deep Breaths.

There is some validity to this common advice for nervousness. Nervousness causes the muscles in our bodies to constrict, and you may even notice that you are holding your breath. As a solution, take a few deep breaths to help replenish your brain’s oxygen supply and calm your body.

  1. Take Time to Improve Your Pausing Techniques.

Anxiety can cause you to speak faster than you normally would, which can lead to out-of-breath moments, increased anxiety, and even panic.

Don’t be hesitant to take pauses and slow down when speaking. In order to make your speech more conversational, you can use pauses to hammer home certain points and to make it feel more natural. Take a pause if you find yourself losing control of your pace.

  1. Audience engagement is critical to your success.

Most people enjoy expressing themselves verbally and having their ideas heard, but presentations often have the impression of being distorted in one direction. However, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Engagement can be boosted and the attendees can feel like they’re part of the presentation by when you ask the audience questions and invite them to participate in the event. Your audience will be more able to relate to you as a result of this. Consider conducting a poll or survey to get the ball rolling. Instead of dreading unprecedented questions, see them as a way to offer your audience exactly what they want from you.

  1. Be a Good Showman.

Your presentation may be full of useful information, but if you don’t deliver it well, your presentation is doomed to fail. A great way to make the audience (and oneself) more at ease when delivering a lot of information is to sprinkle in some jokes and humorous slides. Keep in mind that you aren’t doing a stand-up routine, and your audience didn’t come to hear you to be entertained in the first place. Regardless, don’t be afraid to lighten things up a bit during your presentation. You can ask a few friends to critique your presentation if you’re unsure if the content is “too much” for the audience.


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