Posted by: Female Perspective | November 2, 2010

TOW: Top 10 Presentation Skills

This week in our Corporate PR Class we are talking about public relations consulting.  A big part of consulting is presentations and so in order to be successful you must know how to present.  So here is a top 10 list of presentation skills that I felt from my experience and research are imperative to success as a presenter.

10.  Use visual aids to support and not impress – Powerpoint and other presentation tools can be a great asset when you are presenting your ideas.  Visual aids are a great way to maintain your audience’s attention and add to your presentation so that you aren’t just standing in front of a bunch of people talking.  However, don’t let your presentation do the work for you.  All the information in your visual aides should be used to support what you are presenting and not use to make an impression on your client.

9.  Keep it short – Going into your presentation you should have a main objective.  When giving your presentation, make sure to stay on that objective and not ramble on about things that do not pertain to your objective.  Rambling can distract your audience from your main point. 

8.  Speak in your natural speaking voice – When presenting to a group, not matter the size of the group talk like you were speaking to one person.  Your normal speaking voice is going to put your audience at ease and make them feel more comfortable with you.  Also if your voice is calm and at ease, then they will be more likely to trust that you know what you are talking about.

7.  Engage your audience not your visual aid – Make sure to pay attention to your audience and make eye contact with them.  Don’t spend the entire presentation staring at your computer or with your back at the audience looking at the screen.  The audience is after all the one that you are trying to make an impression on.

6.  Personalize your presentation – By using stories or personal experience, you can individualize your presentation.  Often times a concept or idea can be better understood if you include your own experience as an example.  A story can also help to engage and bond you with your audience. 

5.  Vary your speaking tone – Don’t speak in the same tone the entire presentation.  We have all had teachers whose voice level never changed and it was incredibly hard to remain focused in those classes.  By changing up the tone of your voice, you are not only keeping your audience interested, but it also shows passion for the topic of your presentation. 

4.  Do your research – When giving a presentation, you don’t want to just know the topic of your presentation back and forth but also the history of the audience that you are presenting too.  Research can help you avoid an uncomfortable situation or impress your audience with your knowledge of their history.  Especially with the Internet, there really is no reason that you should not walk into your presentation with a solid background. 

3.  Be prepared for questions – Regardless of how well-rounded your presentation may, someone is bound to have a question and one of the best ways to make a fool of yourself is to not know the answer.  Before going into a presentation, make a list of possible questions that you could be asked and make sure that you have solid answers for each question. 

2.  Body Language – Body language is especially important when presenting.  A smile, eye contact, and movement throughout the room makes your audience not only feel comfortable with you but trust you.  Don’t be afraid to move around the room or make direct eye contact with different people.  At the same time, don’t be moving around so much that you are making people dizzy.

1.  Practice, Practice, Practice – Like anything else in the world, if you want to do your best than you are going to need practice.  Practicing your presentation will help you to become completely familiar with your presentation and therefore will help you avoid getting lost in the middle of your presentation.  Also, practicing in front of someone else will help you to become more comfortable talking in front of someone else and they can also give you feedback on the presentation.  It can also be a good idea to record yourself practicing the presentation; so that you can watch the presentation objectively yourself.

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Responses

  1. I really liked your post and I think that you have a lot of really key points to follow for presentations. I had not mentions the idea of varying your speaking tone when I wrote on this subject, but I think that it is very important and helps your audience to stay alert throughout your entire presentation. I also liked number 2, body language. You are absolutely right that body language is very important in presenting. Good body language definitely shows that you are confident and excited about what you are speaking on. Even if you don’t feel that way, at least act like it.

  2. […] Jenifer Molitor […]

  3. Thanks for the post! You made a lot of good points about giving speeches. I find that for me it’s always helpful to see lists like these to help me better my speeches. One of the points that really stuck out to me was number eight which said use your natural voice. After thinking about it, I do suppose I speak a bit differently than my normal talking to my friends voice. I think it’s an natural reaction to change how we do things when speaking. It seems as though no matter what age you are, the fear of public speaking is always something people have to over come. Thankfully, with tips like yours we can!

  4. […] Top 10 Presentation Skills by Jennifer […]


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