Stages to Enhance Presentation Skills
Some suggestions to improve presentation skills.
Prepare for the presentation
Actress and performer Ethel Merman was once asked, just before a major performance, if she was nervous. Her answer: “Why should I be nervous? I know what I’m going to do! The audience should be nervous. They don’t know what’s going to happen!” What the Merman quote tells us is that when preparings for a presentation, you must identify the key issues you want to express. In essence, why are you making the presentation? You also need to know who will be in your audience so you can anticipate their needs and speak their language. The better you prepare and anticipate questions that may be thrown at you, the more comfortable you will be in the presentation.
Make your opening comments
The first few minutes of a presentation should be spent welcoming your audience, describing what you know about the issues your audience faces, citing your experience or credentials, and identifying your presentation’s agenda. If you want your audience to do something at the end of your presentation-like approve your budget request, buy something, or so forth-tell them in your opening comments what you want them to do. By telling them ahead of time what you’d like at the end of your presentation, you frame the presentation and assist in having the audience actively listen to you.
Make your points
At the heart of your presentation is where you’ll its pertinent elements. In the discussion, you need to describe why your ideas are important and how they will benefit your listeners. Any supporting data you have should be presented at this time.
End the presentation
The end of a presentation includes nothing new. Rather, in the conclusion, you restate what you know about the issues facing your audience and what you recommended. If you had a request for action in the introductory part, you now come back to the action and seek closure on it. If the presentation is simply the information-sharing experience, an action may not be requested of the audience.
In many cases, questions will be posed at the end of your presentation. However, questions may come at any point in the presentation and may even be invited by you at the beginning. Regardless of where questions are asked, follow a few simple rules.
- First, clarify the question, which requires that you actively listen to the question.
- If you are not sure what the question is, ask for clarification.
- Don’t assume you know what the questioner is asking.
- When you understand the question, answer it.
- Then go back to the questioner and make sure your response answered the question.
- If it didn’t, you’ll probably get another question
- Handle it the same way.