Are you looking to get a little more engagement, or buy-in, or energy from your audiences? Here are six tips to help you improve your presentations. At the end of this post you’ll find an invitation to download even more great tips to upgrade your presentation skills.
- Be yourself. Don’t hide behind big words, or behind a persona you think the audience wants. Don’t use gestures that are foreign to you. Don’t try to use words that you would never use in conversation with a friend. One sure way to stand out from the crowd is not to sound like everyone else. Just be yourself.
- Be passionate. Be comfortable displaying your passion. Passion engages and inspires your audience. Never talk about something that leaves you cold. If you can’t get cranked up, you have little chance of persuading an audience to march to your drum.
- Be focused. Don’t try to cover too much ground or cram your presentation with information. For your audience to receive a clear message, you have to be clear about the message you want them to get. Everything you say or do should support this idea—it will guide you and keep you focused.
- Be clear. Use simple words in simple sentences. The simpler you are, the more powerful you are. Simple words guarantee clarity and ensure your message sticks. Simplicity cuts through the babble like a hot blade through butter. You are heard, and remembered.
- Be engaging. You need to pause for the audience to reflect on what you say and for dramatic effect or emphasis. A strategic pause is a great way to let the audience reflect on the point you made, or draw their attention to a point you’re about to make.
- Be a storyteller. Stories define us, inspire us, comfort us and teach us. Well-chosen and well-told stories resonate with different audiences in different ways. We apply our circumstances to the story told. The magic of story is that it prompts us to respond ‘that could be me’. Facts tell, stories sell.